FC UNITED'S 100 per cent home record was wrecked as Atherton Collieries dug deep to storm the Rebels' Gigg Lane fortress for a 3-0 victory.
Karl Marginson's runaway North West Counties League leaders were sunk by an Anthony Pilkington hat-trick to leave a crowd of 1,723 shaking their heads in disbelief.
Pilkington struck on 15 and 45 minutes to give the visitors a 2-0 interval lead before completing his treble with a breakaway goal in the dying seconds after FC United had battled in vain to reduce the arrears.
Stuart Rudd, Danny Allen and Rob Nugent all wasted chances to hand the pacesetters a lifeline, while Josh Howard was unlucky to see his shot rattle a post.
To complete a miserable night for FC United, leading scorer Rudd was carried off late on and is now doubtful for Sunday's trip to Witton to face Congleton.