ATHERTON Collieries fell to an 3-0 defeat to Bamber Bridge on a cold Autumn evening at the Skuna Stadium.

In recent years, Atherton hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Brig, but they were quick to challenge the history books and took the hosts to the hilt with an intense opening spell of pressure.

This however changed after the Bridge took the lead, Fin Sinclair-Smith producing the only moment of quality in the game with a curled effort into the top corner, before Jamie Milligan reverted to a more defensive approach for the visitors.

The Colls took the ascendancy for the remainder of the first half, and were unlucky not to score from a succession of opportunities drawn from goalkeeping mishaps from Felix Goddard, who was most notably lucky not to concede following a scuffed catch in the goal mouth.

The game defining moment came on the hour mark. Goddard had the last laugh and was redeemed upon saving a penalty from Colls captain Danny Lafferty to maintain the Brig lead.

From here, fortune began to favour the Brig, who took advantage and doubled their lead through Rhys Turner slotting home.

A third goal soon came through Isaac Sinclair in the dying embers of the game.

A positive came for the Colls through the debut of striker Bailey Thompson, who returns following an injury that was obtained in his first training session a year ago. It was likewise pleasing to see former Colls Mon Rowan Roache, now representing Bamber Bridge, make his own return from a long-term injury.

Though the final scoreline was flattering to the visitors, the small but vocal handful of Brig fans to make the short journey were in a jubilant mood, as they delivered just a second defeat for Colls in twelve league matches.

The Colls return to action next Saturday, welcoming Stalybridge Celtic to the Skuna Stadium in another 3pm kick-off.