It was a difficult day in Merseyside for Atherton Collieries as four first-half goals by Marine subjected them to a 4-0 defeat in their final away game of the NPL Premier Division season.

Goals from Freddie Sass, Sol Solomon and a brace from Finlay Sinclair-Smith rounded off the home win as the Mariners also confirmed a play-off berth.

With little over five minutes on the clock, Solomon was caught in the area by Jack Buckley in the Stripes’ goal to give the hosts a penalty, only for the Atherton-born goalkeeper to produce a strong save to his right, denying the Manx forward from the spot.

Wing-back, Freddie Sass, would not be denied 10 minutes later, as Scott Butler’s floated cross to the back post was nodded home to give the hosts a deserved lead.

Little over two minutes later, Butler would provide with his head as his header back across the area found Sinclair-Smith to make it two for the hosts in two minutes.

With 15 minutes until half time, some exceptional one-touch football from the Merseysiders resulted in Solomon providing a finishing touch after Sinclair-Smith cut across.

Sinclair-Smith would get his second of the game as Marine’s high press paid dividends and they dispossessed the Colls’ back line before a strong effort could not be kept out by Buckley.

After half time, David Chadwick’s men provided more of a threat than the first half, with efforts from Dylan Moonan and Lewis Thompson being kept out by a stout Marine backline to keep the result 4-0.

The Colls bow out of the top flight at home to Worksop at the Skuna Stadium on Saturday, with the afternoon and post-match entertainment set to be a celebration of the club’s five years of representing the local community at the highest level in the town’s proud history.