The road to Wembley officially starts for Cooke’s lads on Saturday, Bridlington Town the visitors to the Skuna Stadium for this Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie. Buoyed by Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Lancaster City, the Collieries come into this FA Cup tie with a spring in their step. Ethan Kershaw’s swooping strike brought the Collieries back into that game, further goals from Matty Gillam and Marcus Cusani secured the three points for the Black and White stripes. A third win in six for Atherton. After the game, Cooke reflected on the victory, “I thought it was a really competitive game. I thought that first half they edged it, we couldn’t really get out to be honest. I’m disappointed to have conceded the goal 20, 30 seconds after losing Luke (Hutchinson). The reaction from conceding that goal was excellent and I thought from that point onwards we were the better side and deserved to win the game.”
That was the second game in three days for the Collieries and Cooke was disappointed with how intense the opening fixture schedule had been, highlighting injuries to Luke Hutchinson, Danny Lafferty and Clive Smith in the Lancaster game alone. The Club are pleased to confirm that Hutchinson was released from hospital on Monday evening with painkillers. All scans came back clear and so it is now a matter of recuperation for the young stopper. Hutchinson is expected to be back in training by the end of next week (w/b 6th September). Both Danny Lafferty (tight quad) and Clive Smith (tweaked shoulder ligament) remain in contention for Saturday’s cup-tie and will be assessed in a pre-match fitness test.
Bridlington Town were welcomed to the Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One East this season following their promotion from the Northern Counties East League. The Seasiders are yet to taste victory in the league so far this season, but remain competitive. The Emirates FA Cup has provided some reprieve for Brett Agnew’s lads however. In the previous round, Brid came from behind twice in what proved to be an entertaining game against Consett. Two goal from Danny Earl brought Town back into the game, Pete Davidson with the winner for the East Yorkshire side.
This will be the first ever meeting between Atherton Collieries and Bridlington Town, the Colls are looking forward to welcoming those travelling over the M62 to the Skuna Stadium for the game. Looking ahead to this fixture, Manager Brad Cooke said, “It will be tough, it’s an FA Cup tie so anything can happen. I was really disappointed After Saturday (2-0 defeat away at Morpeth Town) and I questioned our attitudes. We have come and delivered today (3-1 victory over Lancaster City). What we have to start doing is backing that up - we’ve won one, lost one, won one, lost one… We need to start putting some consistency together and that type of determination and work rate will win you games. We have to match that again on Saturday. Bridlington are going to be coming up on a day out, they will be bang up for the game and they will want to win it – we’ve got to match that.”
It might be the international break for most, but it’s FA Cup weekend in Atherton. Come down to the Skuna and cheer on the lads!
Saturday 4th September 2021
The Skuna Stadium,
Adults – £10
Concessions – £6
Under 18’s – £4
Under 11’s – £1 (FA ruling)
Article - Zach Pierce
Photo - David Featherstone