Collieries have beaten local rivals Radcliffe Borough. Despite having no recognised goalkeeper for the majority, Clegg’s side win 5-4 on penalties.
Radcliffe Borough v Atherton Colls Round 10 or at least it seemed like that given the plethora of recent match ups. This time it was in the Lancs Challenge Trophy with a place in the quarter final at stake.
The hosts settled the quicker and had a free kick which rattled the outside of the post but Danny Taberner seemed to have the ball covered. Colls’ first attempt was on the quarter hour mark when Wes Bancroft cut in from the flank but shot wide. The game was lacking a little vim and pep with Borough having more of the ball but doing little with it. On 35 minutes Colls were a little errant in possession and moments later a Borough forward ran clear. Danny Taberner upended him just outside the box. A freekick was awarded and Taberner sent for an early bath. No complaints about the decision. Bradley Cooke immediately replaced Kris Holt and puts on the gloves. The freekick came to nothing.
Being reduced to 10 men focused Colls and Bancroft shot over having played a 1-2 with the referee. This was the last real action of the opening period.
Colls Debutant Josh Messer chipped wide within 20 seconds of the restart before Radcliffe opened the scoring in the 56th minute. A neat ball was threaded between the centre halves and Chris Mason latched onto it and he gave Cooke no chance. Colls could have crumbled or even just accepted that defeat was inevitable but instead took the game to their Evostik opponents.
Chris Cheetham easily gathered a Mark Truffas shot from distance but an equaliser soon materialised. Mark Battersby set up Truffas inside the box and he finished with ease. Cue massive celebration from the players and the impressive Colls faithful positioned at the clubhouse side of the ground.
Colls didn’t look like they were playing with a man shy and were on the attack although Borough looked lively on the break. In the 82nd minute Cooks made a double save to loud cheers from the fans. Controversy with minutes remaining, Jordan Cover was played through and he was brought down by the last defender. Everybody around the ground was expecting a second red card of the game but only a yellow card was shown. A very lucky defender indeed. Colls had another free kick with the last kick of the game but Mark Battersby’s effort was scooped wide by Cheetham.
No extra time – straight to the lottery of penalties.
Andy Heald Scores 1-0 Colls
Chris Mason Scores 1-1
Mark Battersby Scores 2-1
David Sherlock fires over 2-1 Colls
Mark Truffas hits bar 2-1 Colls
Sam Grimshaw scores 2-2
Gareth Carson scores 3-2 Colls
Richard Smith scores 3-3
Mark Ayres scores 4-3
Malachi Slaven has shot saved Bradley Cooke
Colls win 4-3 on penalties.
A performance to be proud of against a team who have been our nemesis in the last few years. To play with a man down for 55 minutes is hard enough but for it to be your only recognised goalkeeper compounded matters. The lads could have just sacked it when they went a goal down, they would have still got a standing ovation when they left the field but they showed true bottle to equalise and end the game on top. The teams are now level at 1-1 in the penalty shoot out count this campaign.. The players and fans celebrated like you do after a penalty victory I am sure Radcliffe would have done the same. Michael Clegg and his backroom team will be satisfied men with their charges never say die attitude. Finally I would like to say Bradley ‘The Cat’ Cooke has a nice ring to it.
Match report by Emil Anderson
Colls Team – Danny Taberner, Nathan Battersby, Robert Swanton (James Brooks 72), Josh Messer, Gareth Carson, Mark Ayres, Mark Truffas, Andy Heald ©, Mark Battersby, Kristian Holt (Bradley Cooke 35) & Wes Bancroft (Jordan Cover 85)