The Glassmen’s dreams of earning a play-off spot in the NWCL first division north promotion battle were shattered at Westhoughton on Saturday - the worst birthday present club chairman Jimmy Woodyer wanted to receive.
Pilkington had been on the fringe of the title race for most of the season but a dip in form helped seal their fate, confirmed when the final play-off qualifiers Nelson defeated Holker Old Boys at the weekend.
It was a bitter pill for manager Stephen Palfrey and his players to swallow after they had started the 202l-22 campaign in fine fettle, which included progress to the third round of the FA Vase for the first time since the club was formed in 1938.
Injuries and suspensions did not help their cause in the long run and now it’s back to the drawing board in a bid to strengthen the squad for the 2022-23 season.
Hopefully, when it gets under way later this year, Pilks will have ironed out some of the problems which were evident at Daisy Hill.
Defensively, they were shot to pieces by the firepower of striker Connor Hughes, who grabbed a hat-trick (10 mins, 36 mins and 79 min) and a last-gasp fourth from Bebeto Gomes.
Daisy Hill: Newns, Lewarne, O’Brien, Brierley, Singleton, Matthews, Severino, Lomax, Mills, Gomes, Hughes. Subs: Hill, Fitton, Hussey, Ngon, Djalo.
Pilkington: Heal, Samson, Parry, Giglio, Cottington, Presho, Perry, Bate, Quirk, Marsh, Moore. Subs: Gilchrist, Boyer, Ablewhite, Burn, Merrifield.