Whitby Town missed a chance to complete their first double of the season and extend their winning run, as they fell 3-1 to Evo-Stik Premier strugglers Stalybridge Celtic.
Across the game, Chris Hardy’s side lacked intensity and attacking purpose and were duly punished by their hosts, who opened the scoring on 14 minutes through John Cofie’s goal.
Defender Ross Killock headed home the second shortly after the break, before substitute Anthony Hume pulled a goal back for the Seasiders.
Whitby made a fist of the last ten minutes, but it proved to be too little, too late, as they succumbed to a Liam Dickinson strike in added time.
Hardy made one change to the side that beat Barwell, recalling Kieran Weledji for James Risbrough.
Although they were holding the ball well, Whitby lacked quality going into the front men, though their hosts had no such problems early on.
Dickinson picked up the ball twenty yards from goal, and threaded an intricate through ball to Cofie, who chipped over Shane Bland, finding the net with the aid of the crossbar.
The goalscorer almost added to his tally just five minutes later too, twisting and turning before shooting powerfully wide from range.
Cofie caused numerous problems for Whitby, with Stalybridge shading proceedings. He tested Bland with a low effort, forcing a save from the Blues’ gloveman.
The Blues struggled to create anything in the offensive third, though fashioned a couple of half chances as the opening period came to a close, Adam Gell testing loanee stopper Jack Walton from twenty yards, before Steven Snaith dragged an effort wide.
Hardy tried to inject more attacking impetus to his side at the break, introducing Risbrough to proceedings for Niall McGoldrick and shifting to 4-4-2, replacing his favoured 5-3-2.
Six minutes after the restart, though, things went from bad to worse for the Blues.
A corner from the left was headed back across goal by Luke Ashworth, finding fellow centre-half Killock who made no mistake from point-blank range, beating Bland.
The half-time system change, however, did bring more life to Whitby’s attack, with Callum Martin going closest, firing wide from 25 yards.
The danger at the other end wasn’t over, though, and the hosts continued to threaten.
A poor Bland clearance found Cofie, who advanced on goal before squaring to Dickinson, though a good block from Andrew May spared the Blues’ stopper’s blushes.
The resulting corner caused more danger, Dickinson heading the delivery just wide at the back post.
Hume’s introduction was the spark that Whitby required, and his hard work almost paid dividends for his team.
David Carson’s ball into the box was headed down by the physical striker into the path of Weledji, whose powerful effort forced a reaction save from Walton.
Whitby’s attacking play made for a tense ending for the home supporters, and the nerves were not helped five minutes from time.
Martin’s deep free-kick caused a goalmouth scramble, with Hume capitalising to head home and pull the Seasiders back into the game.
The revival was to be put to bed, however, deep into injury time.
Substitute Jake Charles broke down the left-hand side before getting into the box and squaring to Dickinson, who slid the ball home to start his birthday celebrations early and ensure that Stalybridge’s league revival continued.
Stalybridge Celtic: Walton, Crowley, Honeyball, Brown (Charles ’82), Ashworth (c), Killock, Bailey-Jones, Roberts, Dickinson, Julien (Wilkinson ’58), Cofie (Chippendale ’69). Subs not used: Neville, Edmilson.
Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, McWilliams, Bythway, McGoldrick (Risbrough ’46), May, Gell, Snaith (c), Weledji, Carson, Fryatt (Hume ’65). Subs not used: Bullock, Maloney, Dixon (GK).