STEETON suffered a disappointing return to Marley after six weeks away on Monday night, losing 3-1 to Bradford District rivals Route One Rovers in the North West Counties Football League First Division North.

Rovers are Steeton’s tenants, so technically this was their home game, their second in three days at Marley.

That 4-2 win for Route One over Daisy Hill there on Saturday was Marley’s first competitive game since December 16, when Steeton lost 3-2 to Runcorn Town.

A gas supply issue had put the venue out of action for weeks, but it is back up and running now, with a Bradford District derby not a bad way to get fully back into the swing of things.

But it was a one-sided affair, little surprise given Route One are on course to finish in the play-offs, while Steeton look likely to record a bottom-half finish.

Waqas Azam put Route One in front inside the opening minute, while Steeton could hardly get near their former midfielder Mo Farhan Subhani without fouling him.

Anees Younis went close later in the half too, but Route One, despite their dominance, only reached the break with a 1-0 lead.

But a first-time finish from Zak Khan at the start of the second period gave Rovers some breathing space, and they quickly followed that up with a third goal through Callan Parker-Wells.

Awais Khan cracked an effort off the crossbar as Route One looked to make it 4-0, but instead it was Steeton who grabbed a last-gasp consolation through substitute Ezio de Santis.

Roy Mason’s Chevrons do have some breathing space towards the bottom of the table, but relegation is not out of the question.

They are unlikely to get anything from their next game, which they go into as firm underdogs at home to runaway leaders FC St Helens.