Michael Clegg’s lads survived a scare at Hallmark Security League newbies Sandbach United to progress to the last 16 of the Macron Cup, the competition they won in sensational fashion last season.
Jamie Forbes and Jordan Cover replaced Jake Kenny and Mark Battersby from the previous outing against Jarrow Roofing BCA and started on the front foot. Unfortunately Vinny Bailey’s square ball to the free Cover ten yards from goal was just behind him. The hosts took advantage of their reprieve and started to play some neat football while Colls struggled to keep possession. Colls shot stopper Adam Reid continued his fine form with a couple of vital saves.
This Atherton Collieries outfit are always dangerous though and took the lead just after the half hour mark. Attractive approach play saw the ball at the feet of Cover and his daisy cutter from the edge of the box found the far right corner of the onion bag. The goal did not deter United and they equalised on the stroke of half time. An over ambitious ball out of defence was intercepted, the subsequent punt into the Colls penalty area wasn’t dealt with allowing the lively Daniel Bartle an easy finish.
Bartle was on fire and he was unlucky not to grab his second early in the second period. His shot from distance beat Reid all ends up but it smashed against the crossbar. Colls had to step up a gear or their reign would be over and they reacted positively. On 51 minutes Cover left the United defence in his wake before taking the ball round the keeper. He sidefooted home with ease. A Jordan Cover special. The goal galvanised Colls and the lead should have been increased. Unfortunately Bailey unselfishly tried to tee Cover up for his hat-trick who shot wide with the goal gaping. Both teams continued to create chances, Justin Pickering’s effort from out wide which grazed the top of the crossbar was the pick. Colls saw the game out for a dogged 2-1 victory.
Sandbach played their full part in the proceedings and should have gone into the interval leading. Their future looks rosy and a finishing position in the play offs at least is on the cards. Colls were never at their most fluent (credit to Sandbach) but did just enough to win the game. The victory sets up a 3rd round clash at Nelson at the back end of November.
The final mention goes to Bradley Cooke who made his 200th competitive appearance for the club. He was presented with a memento after to the game to a chorus of ‘We love you Bradley we do’. A proud moment for both player and club.
Match report by Emil Anderson
Photo by David Featherstone