WOODHOUSE United were unable to make the most of a flying start away to FC Bernard on their return to Rochdale Sunday League action.
Joe Whitham was brought down after just 49 seconds of the Division One contest at Fir Grove, scoring the spot kick past a goalkeeper who was lucky to escape with a yellow card for bringing down the United player when the last man.
When Gary Fish struck a low free kick into the corner to make it 2-0 after five minutes, last season’s Division Two champions were dreaming of a victory over opponents who were playing two divisions higher than them last season.
However, Bernard took only a minute to pull one back and then made it 2-2 from a free kick.
Calum Hallinan put the visitors back in front after the ball had bounced around in the box but the home side made it 3-3 from a corner.
Whitham edged Woodhouse back in front on 25 minutes but that was as good as it got as Bernard scored twice more before half time and then another three times in the final half hour.
United’s Marc Walters said the result was disappointing after the dramatic start but an improvement on the 8-0 defeat by the same opponents earlier in the campaign.
“They are a very physical team and most of their goals came from free kicks or corners,” he said.
Woodhouse, now seventh, are due to host fourth-placed Duke of Wellington this weekend.
However, the showers were out of action at the Woodhouse Road ground earlier in the week and if they are not fixed in time Walters said the game might be switched.
Walters is hoping United can turn the tables after losing 3-1 to Wellington in their last game before Christmas.
“We battled well but didn’t take our chances,” he said.
The Rochdale Online Alliance’s indoor league resumes after the Christmas break on Saturday and Jacks House aim to be back in action.
The Todmorden side have had mixed fortunes on the opening two days of play at Milnrow Soccer Village.
They won two, drew one and lost one on December 12 but then failed to raise a side for the December 19 matches.
Club spokesman Thomas Barnes said Jacks House hoped to get back on track this weekend before the return to outdoor games seven days later.