A clinical second-half display saw Dunston UTS coast past Bootle in the FA Trophy thanks to goals from Michael Fowler, Richard Coulson and Liam Thear.
It was a far from impressive display from the Bucks as they failed to get a foothold in the game, coming up against a defensively resolute side.
Wonder strikes from Fowler and Thea started and rounded off the scoring for the North East side as Steve McNulty was handed his second defeat since taking over.
In an uneventful first-half, both sides could only muster half-chances. Two of the best opportunities came through Morgan Homson-Smith and captain James McCarten.
The former FC United of Manchester and Southport attacker cut inside past two Dunston defenders but Dan Staples was equal to it, diving low to his left.
Moments before the break, McCarten rose highest from Homson-Smith’s corner but saw his headed effort go narrowly wide.
Just seconds after the restart, it was the visitors who lead as Fowler pounced on a defensive lapse and fired past Sam Ashton.
Oliver Putnam looked to immediately fire back after Staples’ poor clearance but his effort, bound for the top corner, whistled over the bar.
Shortly after the hour mark, Dunston doubled their lead. Jack Elliott burst down the left before clipping into the danger area, Coulson ghosted beyond the defender and headed home from close-range.
The Bucks struggled to find rhythm in the second half as it became apparent it would be one of those days.
Ben Hodkinson came close as his left-footed effort was tipped over by the Dunston goalkeeper before Jack McGowan had a sight on goal after neat interplay down the right but it was smothered by Staples.
The visitors looked more likely to find the back of the net in the dying embers and Fowler was brilliantly denied a second by Ashton.
But the Bootle goalkeeper could do nothing about Thear’s rocket as he fired in a third. A loose pass trickled in his path as he unleashed a swerving effort which curled into the top left-corner leaving Ashton rooted to the spot.
Bootle’s hopes of a Trophy run are now over as they look to dust themselves down when they face an in-form Runcorn Linnets side – who made it three wins in three with a brilliant win over North Shields.
Dunston, meanwhile, are in the hat for Monday’s draw.
Bootle 0-3 Dunston UTS FC
Goals: 46′ Michael Fowler. 63′ Richard Coulson, 86′ Liam Thear.
HT/FT Score: 0-0/0-3