STEETON ended their season with a disappointing defeat away to Atherton Laburnum Rovers.

Despite playing against ten men for 57 minutes, the Chevrons failed to find a way through their resolute opposition, who rallied after the red card to see themselves over the line.

However, a disappointing final day did not detract from what has been a superb season for Roy Mason and his side.

Their final placing of seventh in the table is the club’s highest ever finish, with their eventual points haul of 53 a club record at semi-professional level.

And despite not bagging a goal on the final day, Andy Briggs’ final tally of 35 is a new club record for goals in a season.

It also proved to be an emotional afternoon at Crilly Park, as club stalwart Alistair Morgan made his 311th and final appearance for Steeton, as he departs the club due to a change in his work commitments away from the pitch.

In a somewhat drab affair that had all the feelings of a final day meeting between two sides with nothing to play for, the only goal of the game came after just six minutes.

After Morgan headed a cross into the area clear, the ball fell at the feet of Jack Lever.

The midfielder took a touch before firing the ball 30 yards down the slope and past James Catlow, the Steeton keeper standing no chance despite his best efforts to get across the goal to try and make the save.

Now trailing, the visitors pushed for an equaliser up the slope but the closest they came was through Arale Mohamed, as the striker put his shot into the side netting.

Despite leading by a goal, Atherton soon found themselves a man lighter.

Connor Ikin, the LR skipper, took a heavy touch and allowed Mohamed to steal the ball off his foot.

With the goal now at the forward’s mercy, Ikin hauled him down just outside the area, leaving the referee with no option but to produce the red card and end the centre half’s afternoon after just 37 minutes.

The red card seemed to galvanise the home side though and they came close to doubling their lead shortly before the break but were denied twice by good saves from Catlow.

Still having 45 minutes left to play with a man advantage, Mason was left frustrated as his side could not break down the opposition.

Atherton soaked up pressure nicely and looked to hit Steeton on the counter and it nearly came off around the hour mark as Catlow was forced into another good save.

Steeton thought they had levelled the scores shortly after, when a through ball from Toby Jeffrey was left by Josh Coe and Briggs finished past the Atherton keeper Connor Beard.

The Chevrons captain was denied by a late offside flag, with Coe seemingly the one penalised for being ahead of the last defender rather than Briggs.

The home side were then perhaps lucky to avoid being reduced to nine men, as the officials missed an apparent stamp on Briggs after the forward was felled just outside the area.

The home side remained comfortable under pressure as Steeton wasted opportunities to get the ball into dangerous positions when attacking down the slope.

Jeffrey did manage to get the ball into the area twice in injury time but on both occasions, Beard raced out of his goal through a sea of bodies to take the ball, seeing his side over the line for a final-day three points.