After the disappointment of the previous Monday’s defeat by Linnets Colls got back to winning ways in some style against the other Runcorn side Town.
Suspensions and injuries meant that Danny Taberner, Callum Jones and Gareth Peet missed the game while Mark Ayres served the final game of his two match ban. Adam Reid made his debut in the Colls no 1 jersey,
Reid was called into the action inside the opening minute when he flicked a header against his crossbar but the assistant referee had flagged for offside regardless. Within seconds Colls took the lead. Mark Battersby set Jordan Cover clear on the right flank and he ran 40 yards before shooting past the oncoming Town Keeper Danny Lever. Ex Colls mon Paul Shanley was playing his first game back at Alder House since his departure in 2010 and he was in the thick of the action. He screwed a 25 yard free kick wide before Reid made a point blank save from him. The game was end to end and Brad Cooke who had seamlessly moved to the centre half slot got his head to a Mark Truffas freekick and would have been mad at missing the target. On 28 minutes Colls doubled the lead. A free flowing move started by Reid rolling the ball out to a defender eventually saw Mark Battersby play Cover in again to finish with aplomb. A great team move. At this stage of the game the scoreline was a little harsh on the visitors who had given a good account of themselves.
Colls dominated the second half proceedings. Quality Jake Kenny approach play set up Ben Hardcastle who blasted wide before Mark Battersby smashed in a effort which Lever fortuitously parried against the bar and to safety. Hardcastle put in a fine cross which Kristian Holt headed against a post. Matty Grimshaw and Hardcastle has other attempts as Town struggled to keep a foothold in the game. The second half breakthrough came in the 65th minute. Cover and Battersby linked up again, this time Cover intercepted the ball deep in Town territory and he fed Battersrby who cheekily chipped over Lever. Town kept trying and somehow Reid ended up with the ball in his hands following an almighty scramble in the six yard box. The icing was put on the cake in the 72nd minute. Hardcastle received the ball on the penalty spot with his back to goal and he laid off to Battersby who fired first time in to the roof of the net for his 30th goal of the campaign. Hardcastle had another couple of chances but Lever who was in top form repelled him. Ben could have played all day and he wasn’t destined to score.
A thoroughly satisfying performance especially after the second goal. Until then Town were very much in the match. The result didn’t exactly exorcise the ghost of the Monday night gone but with both Linnets and Colne drawing with West Didsbury and 1874 Northwich respectively we were the only team in the top five to take maximum points. We remain third favourites for the title but there is plenty of football left to be played.
Atherton Collieries: Adam Reid, Jake Kenny, Nathan Battersby (Sulay Ahmed 69′), Josh Messer (Dave Sherlock 45′), Matty Grimshaw, Brad Cooke, Ben Hardcastle, Kristian Holt, Mark Battersby, Jordan Cover & Mark Truffas (Lewis Coleman 76′)
Subs Not Used – James Kirby & Kyle Haslam
MOM -Ben Hardcastle