Following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat away at Morpeth, attention now turns to this afternoon’s Bank Holiday Monday encounter with Lancaster City at the Skuna Stadium. Saturday’s journey to the North East proved to be a tough test, a game in which Atherton were unable to create any real momentum. Within the opening sixty seconds, Cooke’s lads found themselves with a 1-0 deficit to overturn – Micky Turner with a free header from a corner. The Highwaymen secured the victory through a Ryan Donaldson penalty. Reflecting after the game, Assistant Manager Rob Sadler highlighted Morpeth’s early opener as detrimental to the Colls’ game plan, “Game plans, tactics, everything you work on during the week – it’s all gone in the first sixty seconds. I think we are learning lessons; they are harsh lessons because we are learning them by losing football games. You can’t go anywhere at this level and concede a goal after sixty seconds and expect to get something out of the game.”
Lancaster City will be looking to continue the fine form that sees the Blues sit third in the league table. With five games played City have only one loss to their name, an opening day 1-0 defeat against Whitby Town. Mark Fell’s side are particularly ruthless up front, 15 goals scored so far this season – a 7-2 victory away at Grantham Town the highlight. In their most recent outing, the Blues saw off Mickleover in a 3-0 win at the Giant Axe. First half goals from Rhys Turner, Liam Brockbank and Paul Dawson rounded off a fantastic showing from Assistant Manager Rob Henry’s point of view, “It was a good performance – a win, three good goals, a clean sheet. The intensity was good, we were organised and we pressed well. We put them under pressure throughout the game and it worked for us.”
Monday’s encounter will see Bolton Wanderers loanee meet Bolton Wanderers loanee, both Goalkeepers too! Luke Hutchinson has impressed the Colls Crazy Gang since joining at the start of the season, Lancaster’s Matty Alexander making a similar impression amongst the City faithful.
Looking ahead to the Bank Holiday Monday fixture, Sadler said “They (Lancaster City) are a good side. There isn’t a bad side at this level, and that’s what they (the players) need to learn and learn fast. That was proved in Saturday’s defeat – albeit after four games they were bottom of the table without a point. Our instruction wasn’t that we rock up here and feel we just have to turn up. That’s what it felt like in the first five minutes, that’s the disappointing thing. Lancaster will be a very, very tough test, which is what we expect.”
Today’s Match Programme is dedicated to Kieran Halliwell. Available for just £2, we celebrate Kieran’s life and his time as an Atherton Collieries player. Everyone at Atherton Collieries continue to offer their condolences to Kieran’s family at this difficult time.
Monday 30st August 2021
The Skuna Stadium,
Adults – £10
Concessions – £6
Under 18’s – £4
Under 11’s – Free
Article - Zach Pierce and Emil Anderson