Following a 3-0 away win at Chadderton on Saturday (16th September) the Collieries faced another difficult away test in the form of Rochdale Town.
Two tough away games in the space of four days saw the Collieries pick up the maximum of six points available after beating Rochdale 4-0 at their Mayfield Sports Centre ground in front of a crowd of seventy four.
The first effort of the game was recorded on fifteen minutes. Mark Truffas collected the ball on the right wing, attacked the right flank and passed the ball onwards to forward Mark Battersby who flicked the ball up and had a shot on the volley. Elliot Chadderton in the Rochdale goal did well to save the shot.
Four minutes later and Battersby was denied once again this time however it was the post that prevented him from scoring. Jake Kenny passed the ball through to Battersby as he ran into the box. Battersby rounded the Rochdale defenders and shoots but can only watch as his shot hit the post and bounced away to safety.
Goalkeeper Chadderton was doing well to keep Rochdale in the game as he saved another effort to keep the score line at 0-0. The ball came to Mark Truffas, who was standing on the edge of the D, after a Collieries corner was headed out to him. Truffas controlled the ball, then fired the ball at goal and drew another good save from Chadderton. Ten minutes later, when the clock hit thirty three minutes the deadlock was broken. Brad Cooke hit the ball, which floated over the Rochdale defence, onto Battersby who, after collecting the ball, rounded Chadderton and takes the lead for the Collieries.
Half Time – Rochdale Town 0-1 Atherton Collieries
Battersby deservedly had his second goal on fifty two minutes after curling the ball around the keeper, hitting the post then hitting the back of the net.
Rochdale had a good chance to pull a goal back on fifty seven minutes. From a shot outside of the box the ball thunders against the Collieries post. A minute later, on the counter attack, the Collieries nearly made it three. Truffas crossed the ball deep into the Rochdale area for Battersby to tap just over the bar. Another minute deeper into the game and for the second time in the game the woodwork had been hit, this time by the Collieries. Mark Truffas found himself in a shooting position just wide of the centre of the D; from the following shot he hit the post.
Substitute Ben Hardcastle found himself on the score sheet for the Collieries on sixty three minutes. After collecting the ball, Hardcastle ran towards the edge of the box, still running he released his shot with his left foot – the ball flew into the back of the net, a fine finish to take the score line to 3-0.
With just two minutes left on the clock substitute Wes Bancroft found himself scoring his second goal in as many games. In line with the left Rochdale post on a Collieries attack, Bancroft received the pass from the right wing, after controlling he shoots and scores after the ball just managed to creep underneath the goalkeeper.
Full Time – Rochdale Town 0-4 Atherton Collieries
Another pleasing Atherton Collieries performance which sees us go top and remain unbeaten this season. Thank you to everyone for their support on Tuesday night, as always it really is appreciated. The next game is on Saturday (20th September) as we play Cheadle Town at home in the Men United Cup.
Match report by Zach Pierce