Atherton Collieries continued their unbeaten pre-season form with a 0-0 draw against National League North side, AFC Fylde.
The sun was beaming down on the Skuna Stadium as Brad Cooke's men took to the field, with many familiar faces from last season in the starting lineup. Three trialists also were in the starting eleven.
The early stages of the game saw both teams finding their feet, with no real threat coming from either side. It was only after 12 minutes when the first shot came from AFC Fylde's trialist but it trickled wide of the post.
Shortly after, Colls had a few decent chances to take the lead. Gaz Peet skipped two challenges and laid off trialist, but his shot was sliced. Moments later, Cusani lashed a great effort from the edge of the 18-yard box which skimmed the crossbar.
Colls were looking the more threatening between the two sides despite the visitors seeing the majority of possession, but few clear-cut chances were created for the remainder of the first half.
A new XI took to the field for the visitors, and the Colls backline had to fend off some decent attacking play in the early stages of the second half. Fortunately Colls hand on and started to grow back into the game. Trialist No.19 for Colls looked sharp as he was introduced as a substitute and almost got himself a goal, forcing a great save from Chris Neal.
Taberner in the Colls goal made some smart stops in the closing stages of the match to keep the score goalless at the final whistle.
Overall, more minutes in the legs and another solid performance from Colls sees them go three games unbeaten in as many games, an encouraging sign heading into the new season. Also like to give a shout-out to the staff and players of AFC Fylde who tidied the dugout and changing rooms after the game.
Brad Cooke's men face a tough test next with the annual match with Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday 13th July at the Skuna Stadium. We hope to see you all come down for what promises to be a great contest.
Report: John Holland
Photography: Dave Featherstone