Atherton Collieries vs Cheadle Town – the final home game of an extraordinary season, the final league match of a phenomenal league campaign, a game for celebration and celebrate we did.

The Collieries looked to end the league season on a win after a week that challenged all previous. This next week is just as important as the other with a big game against Glossop North End and a big win against Hindsford at the time of publishing this report. It started with the final league game of the season, against Cheadle Town.

A good number of fans came down to Alder House to witness Atherton for the last time at Alder House this season, our visitors began the afternoon with a guard of honour for the Collieries achievements this season – much appreciated! The game made a slow start with little to report in the ten minutes that opened the game. On 12 minutes however, the game sprung into life. Cheadle’s Nathan Neequaye had the ball played through to him as he continued his run toward the Colls’ goal. Taberner dived down in an attempt to win the ball off Neequaye. However, Neequaye managed to keep hold of possession as he dinked the ball around Taberner and released his shot on goal. The ball, though bounced straight back off the bar. A good start made by Cheadle.

This was a wakeup call for Atherton who now started to pass the ball around with confidence and ease. A long ball came forward from the Collieries’ defence for forward Jordan Cover to run onto, Cover had beaten the Cheadle offside trap and was clear on goal, one and one with Goalkeeper Stephen Piggott. Unfortunately, Cover chipped his shot well over the bar from the edge of the area.

The Colls churned another chance out on 21 minutes. Captain Brad Cooke played a cross into the box for forward Mark Battersby to head straight into the palms of Piggott.

With 25 minutes on the clock, the Collieries were ahead. The Colls midfield played a delightful ball through to Matt Boland who ran onto said ball. Boland dribbled into the box before he slotted the ball under the onrushing Piggott.

Atherton played with confidence and it was evident the game was enjoyed by all on and off the pitch. Nine minutes remained before Half Time when the Collieries missed a good opportunity to make it two. Nathan Battersby played the ball to Cover on the edge of the box; Cover controlled and curled the ball well over the bar.

Half Time – Atherton Collieries 1-0 Cheadle Town

Cheadle came out the stronger of the two sides at the start of the second half. On 53 minutes, they found themselves with a corner. The aforementioned corner was played to the edge of the box to Luke Hinks; Hinks controlled the ball before he fired his shot at goal. Taberner did well to tip the ball over the bar.

On 58 minutes, Cheadle found their leveller. A difficult shot flew into the ‘danger zone’ for Taberner to deal with, Taberner spilled the ball for Thabiso Magida to run into and tap into the net.

However, two minutes later, the Colls instantly hit back to retake the lead. Cover had beaten the Cheadle off side trap yet again to run onto the right side of the Cheadle area and round Piggott. From a tight angle, Cover then passed the ball into the back of the net – a fine individual effort indeed.

Thirteen minutes later, Atherton had the luxury of a two goal advantage as they scored their third of the game. Substitute Ben Hardcastle scored a fine goal, Hardcastle ran around the rim of the Cheadle area before he fired his shot into the back of the net.

Two efforts in quick successions came seconds after Hardcastle’s first and only goal of the game. The first of which involved defender Rob Swanton, Swanton played a ball into the Cheadle box from the right side of the field. The ball was played perfectly to M. Battersby who headed over the bar. The second effort involved Taberner. Taberner sent his goal kick forward for M. Battersby to bring down and fire just wide of the mark.

Mark Battersby was shown a second yellow card in the second half, which resulted in a red card.

Full Time – Atherton Collieries 3-1 Cheadle Town

After the game, Atherton Collieries were awarded the First Division Trophy – just rewards for what has been an excellent season for all at the Club. Band ‘Green Army’ played live in the Clubhouse for both players and fans alike after the game – a great day and night was had by all at the Football Club.

As this report had been penned after Monday’s 3-0 win away at Hindsford, attention now turns to Thursday night – Glossop North End in the final of the Men United Cup.

Thank you all for your support this season!

Cheadle Town: Stephen Piggott, Callum Jones, Luke Pearson, Anthony Trucca, Andrew Undon, James Moore, Luke Hinks, Ashley Smallwood, Nathan Neequaye, Richard Wyatt and Thabiso Magida – Substitutes: Nyall Cannon, Christopher Rathburn, Michael Kennedy, James Dunne and Lewish Bush

Atherton Collieries: Danny Taberner, Rob Swanton, Nathan Battersby, Josh Messer, Luke Gibson, Gaz Carson, Matt Boland, Bardley Cooke ©, Mark Battersby, Jordan Cover and Gareth Peet – Substiutes: Mark Truffas, Andy Heald, Jake Kenny, Kristian Holt and Ben Hardcastle

Match Report – Zach Pierce

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