Atherton Collieries made it two wins on the bounce with an impressive away performance against Bamber Bridge, goals coming from Elliot Rokka and Aaron Smith in a pulsating 2-1 victory. After bidding farewell to Ben Conway with a superb home win against league leaders Matlock last week, it was another bittersweet day for the Colls as popular goalkeeper Danny Taberner announced his departure after 114 appearances. Brad Cooke lead tributes to Tabbsy after the game, saying: “Danny’s a massive character and he’s been an amazing keeper for us. I speak on behalf of everyone at Colls, the players, staff and fans when I say thank you for everything he’s done for the club.”
Colls were the faster of the two sides out of the blocks at the Sir Tommy Finney Stadium, Elliot Rokka giving his side the lead on 7 minutes with a tidy first-time effort past Mateusz Hewelt in the Brig goal. Twenty-two players became twenty shortly after, a coming together between Colls’ Marcus Cusani and Brigs’ Mark Yeates resulting in the referee flashing red cards towards both men.
The home side didn't take going behind lightly and rained down a series of long-range efforts on the Colls goal, only to be denied by acrobatic on-loan Wanders keeper Luke Hutchinson. It was the black and whites who doubled their lead in the second half, debutant Aaron Smith showing great composure to chest the ball down in the box, take and touch and poke past the keeper - sparking wild celebrations from the bench and travelling Colls supporters behind the goal.
There were nervy moments in the final exchanges as veteran striker Nathan Pond bagged his first goal off the bench for Brigs, setting up a tense finale. However Colls were able to stave off the late pressure from the home side and claim another huge three points on the road. Brad Cooke looked delighted with his lads' performance and the travelling Colls fans stayed behind well after the final whistle to serenade their players off the pitch. A good night all round.
Colls are back in action later this week and will be looking to make it three league wins in a row when they face Mickleover Sports at the Skuna Stadium this Saturday. Kick off 3pm. Up the Colls! Atherton Collieries: Luke Hutchinson, Clive Smith, Gaz Peet, Scott Sephton (Aaron Smith 45'), Niall Battersby, Joel Amado, Elliot Rokka (Lafferty 56'), Danny Lambert, Matty Gillam (Glass 85'), Jack Lenehan, Marcus Cusani Unused: Luca Defreitas-Hansen, Lewis Doyle Man of the Match (Sponsored by Bolton Arena): Matty Gillam Report: Danny Brown Photo: Dave Featherstone