Daisy Hill’s trip across to West Yorkshire on Saturday ended in disappointment, when they lost 4-2 to promotion chasing Route One Rovers in the North West Counties League First Division North.

After getting off to a great start when Jamie Ramwell put them ahead after just four minutes, Daisy were undone by three goals in the space of 12 minutes from Zak Khan, McKenzie Borek and Anees Younis that saw them trailing 3-1 at the break.

When Khan increased the home side’s advantage from the penalty spot with his second of the afternoon 10 minutes into the second half, there was no way back for Daisy, although Jake O’Brien reduced the arrears with a penalty two minutes from the end.

Afterwards, Daisy boss Lee Hill was frustrated his side had failed to build on a good opening to the game.

“I thought we started really well, we came with a game plan and for the first 15 minutes the lads executed it to a T,” said Hill.

“Jamie Ramwell took his chance well to put us 1-0 up early on, we were aggressive on the ball and they couldn’t get out of their own half.

“But after that, for the remaining 75 minutes we were off the pace, lacklustre and slow to the second ball.

“For some reason the lads just stopped doing what was working. We stopped pressing them and when they got on the ball, they started hurting us.

“The league doesn’t lie at this stage of the season, and Route One Rovers are up near the top of the league for a reason.

“If you give them time and space they will hurt you, and we conceded three really soft and sloppy goals, largely through our own fault.

“For the goals, we were stood too far off, we didn’t close them down quickly enough and gave them too much space.

“Although we missed a couple of good chances ourselves late on, the 4-2 score flatters us a bit, as Route One could have scored more than they did.

“The lads know they have let themselves down, and we have got to take a lesson from the game and move forward.”

The final outcome for Daisy was in stark contrast to the bright opening, which saw them take an early lead with a well-worked goal.

Jack Iley was the architect, seizing a loose ball in midfield before picking out Ramwell with a lofted pass over the Route One back four.

The Daisy striker timed his run perfectly to stay onside, and executed a delightful chip over the head of the advancing home keeper, Kyle Trennery, from 25 yards.

Trennery had to react quickly eight minutes later when O’Brien curled a free-kick into the box that evaded attackers and defenders alike, and was heading for the bottom corner before the keeper got down to push the ball round the post.

But Route One drew level at the midway point in the half, when leading scorer Khan and captain Anees Younis combined from a short corner to set up a chance for Khan, who beat Morgan Newns with a shot from the edge of the box.

Straight away, Daisy could have restored their lead when Ben Howarth got on the end of a Ramwell cross, but steered a shot wide from 10 yards.

However, the game turned firmly in favour of the home side when they struck twice in the space of four minutes on the half-hour mark.

Borek put Route One ahead when the Daisy defence were guilty of allowing him time and space to collect a loose ball in midfield, and he advanced forward before drilling a shot low past Newns into the bottom left-hand corner.

Before Daisy had a chance to regroup, they were carved open by a neat passing interchange between Younis and Awais Khan, with Younis collecting a well judged pass to slot home Route One’s third goal from 15 yards.

On the stroke of half time, Ramwell set up Sam Twist for a shot that was blocked by the legs of home keeper Trennery, but any hopes of a second-half revival from Daisy were pretty much snuffed out 10 minutes after the restart.

Once again, it was Route One’s danger man Zak Khan who did the damage, first of all winning a penalty after jinking past two challenges before being tripped in the box, and he made no mistake in despatching the spot-kick past Newns to put his side 4-1 ahead.

Daisy kept going, and with 20 minutes left, Harvey Roberts stormed down the right and cut the ball back into the path of Precieux Ngongo, but the midfielder screwed his shot wide under pressure from a defender.

But the visitors were finally rewarded for their efforts, when they reduced the arrears with a consolation goal from the penalty spot with two minutes remaining.

Alex Dodd’s jinking run into the box was ended when he was unceremoniously bundled off the ball, and skipper O’Brien maintained his 100-per-cent record from the spot this season when he made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

Daisy’s next game is on Saturday when they host AFC Blackpool at the Plumb Factory Stadium in the North West Counties League First Division North.