Colls welcomed Hindsford up Tyldesley Road for a hastily arranged friendly last night, The Tonics sat narrowly in second place in the Manchester League. The league, feeding into to North-West Counties, saw a number of teams ascend last season when the Counties Division One was regionalised.
The team sheet (there wasn’t actually a team sheet!) was mixed bag for Colls, consisting of players needing 90 minutes in their legs and lads who have been training with the club, Gaz Burnett making a welcome return in the black and white stripes. We last played Hindsford competitively in 2015 in the Bolton Hospital Cup, the only name on the team sheet that night to start was Matt Grimshaw, who wore the captain’s armband.
Colls were quickly out of the blocks with Tom Bentham heading in a Charlie Ennis corner from 6 yards out, Ennis a Buxton player who scored against us earlier in the season for Skelmersdale. Tom was soon on hand again to nod home a Luke Giverin free kick.
Giverin was himself on the scoresheet later in the half as he collected the ball in the box before giving the keeper the eyes and coolly finishing. Luke then doubled his tally for the night to make it 4-0 with a smart shot on the turn from the edge of the box, exquisitely directed into the corner of the goal.
Hindsford themselves created problems for Colls in the swirling wind, leading their frontline was Alex Honeyball who last faced Colls for Bolton Wanderers in 2015. Captaining their academy teams that also included Arsenal man Rob Holding and Liverpool first team newcomer Nat Phillips.
The second half saw a couple more faces from that 2015 Hospital Cup game make a welcome return, Nathan Battersby resuming his playing career for Hindsford whilst Assistant-Manager Andrew Heald dropped in at centre-back for Colls.
Colls eventually increased their lead with a tidy finish from Ennis. And with ten minutes left on the clock the scoring was complete when Hindsford grabbed the goal that they’d threatened on a couple of occasions, a Liam Jones shot from distance sneaking in past the near post.