After the last two games being cup competitions, the Collieries made the short journey to the Robin Park Arena to come up against WRP in the NWCFL.
It was a windy, cold and wet day however; the game was played on the superb pitch the Robin Park Arena must be proud of so the game was never in doubt. The first effort of the game came on seven minutes, from a Colls corner Gaz Carson headed just over the bar. A minute later and Atherton had another chance to take the lead. Ben Hardcastle collected the ball on his right wing, Hardcastle cut inside of the Wigan area however, his shot flew just wide of the left hand post.
Wigan were reduced to ten men on 18 minutes with goalkeeper Dale Gore being sent off for bringing down Mark Adams after Adams had evaded the Wigan defence and was attempting to round the keeper. A penalty for the foul was also awarded by referee Peter Shacklady.
Defender Gaz Carson stood up and put himself forward to take the penalty. Carson whipped the ball into the bottom left hand corner sending the replacement goalkeeper the wrong way. That was Carson’s first goal for the Collieries.
The Colls doubled their advantage after the half worsened for Wigan, not just because of the score line but because they had another man sent off, being reduced to nine men for the remainder of the game. Wes Bancroft read the passage of play superbly; Bancroft perfected his run so that he was easily picked out in the Wigan area. The ball was sent forward, towards Bancroft who simply took a touch and tapped home.
Half Time – Wigan Robin Park 0-2 Atherton Collieries
Four minutes into the second period of the game and the replacement goalkeeper for Wigan made a fantastic save from a Nathan Battersby long range shot. Any goalkeeper would have been proud of saving such a pinpoint and accurate shot from Battersby.
After getting his goal, Bancroft looked to help his teammates get themselves on the score sheet. Bancroft sent his cross into the Wigan area, unfortunately Matt Boland’s shot was straight at the replacement goalkeeper.
Substitute Tom Shaw was amongst the action on 70 minutes. Shaw won the ball and made his way into the Wigan box. However, the shot which followed the run (from a very tight angle) flew way over the bar.
On 74 minutes, Nathan Battersby scored his first goal for the club and Atherton’s third of the game. A nice Collieries move resulted in Battersby cutting into the Wigan box and firing past the goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Atherton were four goals to the good. The Collieries midfield had to beat the offside trap to ensure they crossed the ball to Kristian Holt in the box. Holt had both time and space to his advantage, he easily tapped home.
With only four minutes remaining of the game, Bancroft deservedly got his second. Bancroft ran clear of the Wigan defence and alone in the opposition area curled the ball around the goalkeeper.
A minute later, Holt, like Bancroft 60 second earlier, got his second of the game. Coming from the left wing, Holt attacked the Wigan box diagonally. A defender for Wigan robbed the ball of Holt, however, not one to give up; Holt won the ball back and duly dispatched to make it six for the Collieries.
Full Time – Wigan Robin Park 0-6 Atherton Collieries
Another superb Atherton Collieries win, the team showed spirit to win by such a large margin against a hardworking and determined Wigan side that, despite only having nine men on the field for a good portion of the game, put a great shift in. It must also be noted our support on Saturday was as always, superb; once again, it is highly appreciated by everyone at the football club.