On Thursday night Atherton Collieries return to action at The Kensite Stadium as they welcome National League North side Chorley. 

The Magpies, who are currently managed by former Blackburn Rovers striker Matt Jansen, opened their pre-season campaign last week beating West Lancashire neighbours Euxton Villa 3-1. They then entertained a strong Bolton Wanderers side at Victory Park on Saturday, narrowly losing 3-2 after taking a lead into half time. 

Chorley boast a wealth of experienced and well known non-league players, mixed in with former professionals who have Football League experience. Former Bury and Macclesfield Town goalkeeper Ritchie Branagan is currently their first choice goalkeeper, while former Manchester City defender Stephen Jordan is also a regular in their starting line-up. A familiar name for Bolton fans will be Adam Blakeman who was a fringe player at The Macron Stadium under Owen Coyle’s reign.

Marcus Carver is a striker who made 44 appearances for Accrington Stanley in the Football League, while his strike partner Terry Gornell played 54 times for Stanley as well as playing for Shrewsbury Town and Rochdale.

The previous occasion that Collieries and Chorley met was in November 2013 when the then Evo-Stik side got the better of Steve Pilling’s men with a 3-2 win in the Lancashire Cup. Colls took the lead that night through Paul Atherton while Gareth Peet and Mark Truffas put in performances that caught the eyes of spectators.

Collieries eventually lost as Chorley hit two quick fire strikes. Darren Stephenson netted a free kick with the ball slipping under Joe Brobbin’s body and Steven Wiles put The Magpies in front when he hit an effort through a crowd of bodies on the edge of the area.

Kieran Halliwell then scored an unfortunate own goal before Mitchell Leece pulled a goal back for Colls in added on time. The tie nearly went to extra-time, but Chorley, who were three divisions higher at the time survived a scare and went on to win the competition.

The match takes place at 19:45. Admission is £4 for adults, £2 concessions and free for accompanied under 12’s.

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