The black n white stripes put in a blistering last half hour display to blow away a talented Mossley outfit. The undefeated away league record had gone tepidly last time out and as early as the eleventh minutes the team were on course to make amends. Gareth Peet who was playing a more forward role was upended in the box for a sure fire penalty. Mossley glovesman Ben Purdham parried Jordan Cover's lukewarm effort but could not stop the striker gobbling up the loose ball. The sides settled and the game was entertaining but with clear cut chances at a minimum. The Lilywhites got back on level terms with around ten minutes of the half remaining. A low cross into the Colls box evaded everybody but Dave Sherlock got tangled up with an attacker who went to ground. Another easy decision for referee Baines and Max Leonard smashed an unstoppable spot-kick past the returning from injury Greg Hartley. With seconds on the clock Peet teed up Danny Lambert whose long range exocet of a shot cannoned of the near post and to safety.
Lambert got his just rewards within seconds of the restart. A delicious Sherlock centre enabled the midfield dynamo to ghost in at the far post and head home from close range. Minutes later Sherlock's already interesting afternoon got even more interesting. Following a something and nothing collision in the box he was adjudged to have been the perpetrator and after what seemed like an eternity the ref pointed again to the spot, much to the right back's distress and sense of injustice. Undisturbed by the furore Leonard sent Hartley the wrong way to tie things up again. Colls survived a calamitous defensive mix up on the edge of their penalty area, the majority of those in attendance heaved a collective sigh of relief as a Mossley attacker somehow trickled his finish wide of the empty net.
This let off focused the Collieries, following a couple of vociferous claims for penalties for perceived handball infringements they took the lead for a third time. Tom Bentham hit a rasper against the woodwork and Cover showed cat like reflexes and no little skill to bury the rebound. Bentham was then played through and he unerringly finished to ease frayed nerves. With around five minutes remaining Cover deservedly grabbed the matchball when he thundered home a low shot. It was his second successive home league hat-trick against The Lilywhites. He soon left the field with the crowds cheers ringing in his ears to be replaced by Gary Burnett. A welcome return for the proven goalscorer. In injury time skipper Danny Lafferty nodded in a Vinny Bailey corner to make it a round half dozen.
Michael Clegg's boys were thoroughly clinical in the last half hour of an excellent game. The final score was harsh on the visitors who were unceremoniously made to pay for the spurned gilt edged opportunity with the game evenly poised at 2-2. Best wishes to Mossley defender Ben Richardson who left the field with a head injury towards the end of the game. Atherton Collieries: Greg Hartley, Dave Sherlock, Josh Messer, Danny Lambert, Danny Lafferty (C), Matty Grimshaw, Ben Hardcastle, Tom Bentham (Adam Farrell 72'), Jordan Cover (Gary Burnett 87'), Vinny Bailey & Gareth Peet. Substitutes (not used): Glenn Matthews, Ben Conway & Dale Latham
MOM - Jordan Cover Attendance: 210
Photograph: David Featherstone