A long trip to the North East proved to be a journey too far as Town were knocked out of the FA Vase by Ryhope Colliery Welfare on Saturday.
They had to stand the late withdrawal from the squad of Jake McEneaney due to work commitments, with skipper Shaun Airey serving a one-match suspension.
Town went a goal down in the fifth minute, as a long throw saw Ryhope centre half Daryl Evans head the ball towards the near post, and though it was half-cleared, it was drilled across the face of goal, where Christopher Ridehalgh deflecting it into his own net.
Town then conceded another goal of their own making, as a poor pass out of defence found Evans, who netted with a lob.
It was 3-0 when Ridehalgh’s cushioning back header beat keeper Chris Taylor after 15 minutes.
On the stroke of half-time Ryhope sealed victory when Craig Hughes cracked a fierce shot past Taylor.
With 20 minutes remaining, substitute Jack Pounder in at the far post, before Town pulled two back through Joel Melia.
Town are at Abbey Hey tomorrow, before hosting Colne on Tuesday night.
On Saturday, Town’s East Lancashire League side beat Peel Park 2-0 with Aidan Lee, keeping up his record of scoring in every game, and Kyle Crawforth also on target.