Match Report: Colls 3-0 Basford

Basford United are the only ever league opponents Colls have faced from the Robin Hood county of Nottinghamshire. In the 2019/20 curtailed campaign they triumphed 3-1 in downtown Atherton and 2-1 on their own midden. The former victory was far more clinical than the latter. There is a modicum of symmetry between the sides in that they have both had fairytale sojourns up the pyramid in recent years. A competitive battle was anticipated.  Niall Battersby, Ethan Kershaw and Marcus Cusani replaced Ben Conway, Elliot Rokka and Lewis Doyle in the starting line as Brad Cooke rotated his squad.  The black n white stripes came out of traps strongly and on eight minutes a Dylan Glass effort from out wide shook the side netting. Minutes later they were in front. Jack Lenehan won the ball twenty five yards out and hit a piledriver which gave Adam Collin between the United sticks no chance whatsoever.  United were a little muted in the opening half but came out with all guns blazing after the break. They crafted three great chances but Colls rookie custodian Luke Hutchinson was in imperious form as he made a string of reflex saves which gave his side a platform to kick on.  Colls wrapped up the three points with a brace of goals on 73 and 76 minutes. A woeful back pass short changed Collin totally and Cusani was all over it like a cheap suit. He won the tussle for the ball and then waited forever for it to come down before caressing into the empty net. The Lions were rattled and Cusani was on hand to punish a moment of miscommunication between the keeper and centre half to put the game to bed. The set up was fortuitous, the finish was emphatic.  The scoreline was perhaps harsh on the visitors but even the most parochial Basford follower could not deny the Colls were good value for their first home victory of the campaign. The game was preceded by a poignant minute’s applause for ex Colls Mon Kieran Halliwell who tragically passed away during the week. There were similar tributes throughout the local footballing scene for a very popular guy. Manager Cooke was delighted with the performance of his team who responded perfectly to the midweek defeat. In an emotion tinged interview after the game he dedicated the three points to Kieran.  Atherton Colleries: Luke Hutchinson, Clive Smith, Gareth Peet, Niall Battersby, Luca Defreitas Hansen, Joel Amado, Ethan Kershaw (Ben Conway 86’), Scott Sephton, Dylan Glass (Elliot Rokka 60’), Jack Lenehan, Marcus Cusani (Liam Martin 83’) Unused: Danny Lafferty, Lewis Doyle Bolton Arena Man of the Match: Marcus Cusani Attendance: 201   Report: Emil Anderson Photo: Mick Gretton

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