Atherton Collieries made the short trip to Cantilever Park to face Warrington Town, falling to a 2-0 defeat despite a decent performance from Brad Cooke’s men. Colls captain, Danny Lafferty, came into the starting line-up to make his first appearance of the campaign, replacing Niall Battersby in the back line.
Cooke’s men came into the game full of confidence off the back of a convincing 3-0 victory at the hands of Basford United, but it was the home side that took the ascendancy early on.
Hutchinson in the Colls goal was forced into a great save just three minutes into proceedings from a header by Josh Amis.
Warrington Town had their fair share of possession in the early exchanges, but following Amis’ chance, Colls defended resolutely and limited the home side to limited chances.
Cooke’s men looked to break on the counter-attack at every opportunity. Marcus Cusani was the outlet and despite often being isolated up-front, brought his teammates into play very well, often forcing the Warrington defence into making fouls in dangerous positions.
After the home side’s initial dominance in the early exchanges, Colls began to grow in confidence and see a lot more of the ball.
The best chance of the match came on the sixteen-minute mark, and it was for the visitors. Some good work by Cusani on the right, pulling it back to Danny Lambert at the edge of the area, whose rasping effort smashed the crossbar. Moments later a cross from the left by Gaz Peet saw Defreitas-Hansen head just wide of the target.
Despite the chances falling to Colls, it was the home side took the lead. A corner from the right finding Matty Regan at the back-post who headed it in the bottom corner. Arguably against the run of play.
The home side seemed to grow in confidence as half-time approached. Five minutes before the break, Luke Duffy opened his body up to curl an effort which looked destined for the top-corner. However, Hutchinson produced a quite unbelievable save to tip the ball onto the crossbar.
Unfortunately, moments later Warrington grabbed their second goal of the game. Regan’s shot is kept out by Hutchinson, but falls to Amis to tap it in.
As the referee sounded the whistle for half-time, it was easy to see why the Colls faithfull felt the scoreline flattered the opposition.
Cooke’s men came out for the second half in explosive fashion. Early substitutions introducing Dylan Glass and Elliot Rokka, and reverting to a back four, certainly showed Colls’ intent to attack.
Both Glass and Rokka almost scoring with their first touches of the ball; Glass’ shot from the edge of the area stinging the gloves of Dan Atherton in the Warrington goal, and then shortly after, Rokka taking the ball round the ‘keeper, who’s effort was cleared off the line by Regan.
A tactical switch also saw Cusani move out to the left wing, which is where the majority of Colls’ good fortune came from. Warrington struggled to cope when he was running at them.
Unfortunately, it was the final ball that was letting Colls down. Whenever they got into a good position, there would be a misplaced pass or a tame effort on goal.
Despite Colls’ superiority in the second half, the home side were still a threat on the counter. Amis with a couple decent attempts late on to try and double his goal tally.
As the referee blew the whistle for full time to an entertaining fixture, Colls may have felt they should have got something out of the game, which their performance deserved. If the lads can carry that standard of performance into the next game, they will certainly be looking for a positive result. Colls travel to Morpeth Town for our next encounter which will take place on Saturday 28th August (3pm), before welcoming Lancaster City for our Bank Holiday Monday home fixture (3pm). Be sure to follow our social media channels for ticket information and coach travel details. We can’t wait to see you there! Atherton Collieries Lineup:
Luke Hutchinson, Clive Smith, Gaz Peet, Danny Lafferty (C), Luca Defreitas-Hansen, Joel Amado (Elliot Rokka 60’), Ethan Kershaw (Dylan Glass 50’), Scott Sephton (Lewis Doyle 62’), Marcus Cusani, Jack Lenehan, Danny Lambert
Unused Subs: Liam Martin, Niall Battersby
Bolton Arena Man of the Match: Luca Defreitas-Hansen Article: John Holland
Photography: Dave Featherstone