Thanks to the division’s new East/West split Saturday’s visit to Tadcaster may be registered as both the Colls’ first and last visit to the i2i Stadium.
Clegg’s men travelled to Yorkshire with an extra spring in their step following Monday night’s win on penalties against Bamber Bridge. Scarborough await the Collieries in the next round, though a game they can’t focus on there were four league games to plan for before the Seadogs come to town.
There was only one change to the side for this outing, a direct swap. Jordan Cover took the number nine spot in exchange for Adam Farrell.
Atherton started the game well, the damp weather failed to disrupt the fluidity of the black and white’s play. Just eight minutes were on the clock when Cover was played through with an attacking ball. The forward utilised his pace as he collected, advanced and confronted the experienced Michael Ingham in the Tadcaster goal, one-on-one. Unfortunately, the forward did not have his scoring boots on as he knocked the ball well wide of the mark.
Throughout his duration on the field, Vinny Bailey was pinnacle to the Colls’ attacking moves. Since returning to the club the midfielder has been instrumental to Clegg’s side. On 26 minutes he was unlucky not to open the scoring. Down the left wing, Marcus Cusani bamboozled the Albion defence before he squared a direct ball to Bailey on the edge of the area. The midfielder spotted Ingham was off his line and so attempted a chipped effort directed towards the top left hand corner. The stopper, however, was equal to Bailey’s ambition.
Throughout the half, Tadcaster offered very little in the way of attack, Atherton were very much in the driving seat. Greg Hartley’s only test coming on 27 minutes, the keeper had to tip over from a Casey Stewart header that had the Collieries worried.
The second half saw a much more attacking Tadcaster side. An injury to Bailey exposed a gap in midfield and the home side did take full advantage of this as the ball spent most of the half in the Collieries area, ultimately though very little came of it. The only highlight on 56 minutes, Hartley had to be alert as he initially spilled a Casey Stewart cross, the stopper eventually jumped onto the loose ball.
Likewise, Atherton failed to register anything overly threatening themselves. Ben Hardcastle’s driven effort on 69 minutes the only stand out. The winger, who has really stepped up to the mark of late, cut-inside before he fired an effort low and hard at goal. Ingham was lucky to collect as the ball bounced along the bobbly surface, truthfully, it could have landed anywhere.
Heroic and committed defending from individuals such as Brad Cooke ensured the Collieries travelled home with a point to their name. Nothing to be ashamed of here, as Clegg’s men extend their unbeaten run to nine games against tough opposition.
With pride at an all-time high, table-toppers South Shields make the long journey south to the Kensite Stadium on Monday night. The toughest test for Clegg’s men yet, as always your support will not only be appreciated, but required as they attempt to step up to the mark.
Tadcaster Albion: Michael Ingham, Harry Sheppeard, Aaron Hardy, Corey Roper, Fraser Papprill, Josh Barrett, Chris Howarth, Pete Davidson, Casey Stewart, Aiden Savory, Billy Whitehouse – Substitutes: Nick Lock, Jason Mycoe, Mitch Langton, Connor Sellars and Joe Pugh.
Atherton Collieries: Greg Hartley, Jake Kenny, Daniel Lambert, Josh Messer, Daniel Lafferty, Matt Grimshaw, Ben Hardcastle, Brad Cooke ©, Jordan Cover (Adam Farrell 67’), Vinny Bailey (Glen Matthews 57’), Marcus Cusani – Unused Substitutes: Iain Howard and David Sherlock.
Attendance – 302
Match Report – Zach Pierce