Lancaster City endured a miserable start to 2018 as they went down to a 5-2 defeat at struggling Stalybridge Celtic on New Year’s Day.
The second-from-bottom hosts stormed clear in the second half to make it a forgettable day for the Dolly Blues.
Phil Brown’s side actually led 2-1 at the interval but fell apart after the break.
Ricky Mercer gave them a 12th minute lead when he converted Billy Akrigg’s free-kick with Celtic levelling things up through Jordan Chapell two minutes before the break.
A corner was cleared to the edge of the area with Chapell firing a shot into the bottom corner with a fine finish.
There was still time in the first half for Sam Bailey to restore City’s lead when he completed a classic counter attack but that was as good as it got for the visitors.
Luke Ashworth levelled the score for a second time on 57 minutes with a free header from a corner before two goals in six minutes from Chapell saw him complete a hat-trick and put his side in command.
His second saw the ball stop in water before being lashed home while the third 20 minutes from time saw Chapell profit on a poor back pass to score.
Theo Bailey-Jones’ goal 11 minutes from time completed the scoring, the scrappy strike ending with the ball being poked home from close range as the visitors failed to deal with a corner.
It all meant the Dollies started the new year in the worst possible fashion, the result leaving them 13th in the Evo-Stik Premier Division table after back-to-back defeats.
Brown’s men went down 1-0 at home to Hednesford Town on Saturday, Samuel Oji scoring the only goal of the game 15 minutes from time on an afternoon low on clear-cut chances.
Next up for Lancaster is a trip to Whitby Town on Saturday, January 6 as they look to bounce back.