PRIDE comes before a fall.

Their heroics on Saturday have given Witton Albion’s players an occasion to look forward to when they try to overcome Solihull Moors and reach the FA Cup first round.

However they might want to glance over their shoulder too because a defeat to Mickleover Sports, their first at Wincham Park this season, means they have won only one of their past seven league games.

It’s hard to make a case, even after a spirited finish, that they deserved anything other than to trip up following a wretched start that saw them concede twice inside little more than a quarter of an hour.

Their guests, unable to muster a single victory away from home in seven previous attempts, could barely believe their luck.

Billy Smart was clumsy when he sent John McGrath sprawling in the sixth minute and goalkeeper Greg Hall negligent to leave a gap at his near post.

Sports’ player-manager, back on his feet, swept the resulting free-kick inside of it.

For Albion, it wasn’t enough of a jolt.

So Mickleover jabbed them in the ribs again when Nathan Jarman rolled Ollie Roberts’ square pass into an empty net to double their lead.

Jake Scott’s clipped pass had sent Evan Garnett clear, only for River Humphreys tackle to thwart him in shooting stride.

Roberts was first to the loose ball, a theme of the opening half-hour, and stayed calm to pick out the front man.

At last, Witton were stirred.

Danny McKenna’s curling shot was tipped onto the crossbar at full-stretch by custodian Lewis King, who then breathed a sigh of relief when James Foley’s rising drive scraped the woodwork.

He was lucky too when, after Smart had charged down an attempted clearance, Pablo Mills arrived in the nick of time to prevent the ball squirming into the net.

Mickleover continued to pose a threat and Humphreys produced a miraculous recovery to block Jarman’s shot on the goal-line after Hall had parried Roberts’ curling effort.

Witton's goalkeeper was swift to smother Garnett’s attempt too after the striker had again scampered into space behind the hosts’ defence.

Carl Macauley sent on Michael Wilson after the interval, switching to a five-man back-line, in an attempt to shore things up.

Delial Brewster followed too, and Albion adjusted to 3-4-3.

They ought to have halved their arrears when Will Jones flicked on for Rob Hopley, but the skipper blazed high from inside the six-yard box with only King to beat.

Witton continued to apply pressure, and King kept an eye on Brewster’s dipping volley before tipping over.

Hopley made amends when he bundled in from close-range after Mickleover’s number one had again reacted smartly to parry a Humphreys’ header from Wilson’s cross.

There was a sense Albion were gathering momentum, although they attacked more with desperation than cohesion.

Garnett reminded them of his potency when he drilled straight at Hall before at the other end Jake Scott contorted his body to divert Brewster’s cross to safety with a brave header.

Witton | 4-4-2 | Hall (GK), Gardner, Humphreys, Wardle, Yates (Brewster 55), McKenna, Booth (Noone 73), Smart, Foley (Wilson 46), Hopley, Jones, Subs not used Devine, Moore (GK) Goal Hopley 70 Booked Smart, Humphreys (both fouls)

Mickleover | 4-4-2 | King (GK), Scott, Burgin, Mills, Turner, Roberts (Burrows 79), McGrath, Ravenhill, Phillips, Jarman (Warren 83), Garnett Subs not used Kozluk, Marselia Goals McGrath 6, Jarman 17 Booked McGrath, Phillips (both fouls)

Referee Jonathan Maskrey

Attendance 234