Atherton Collieries added further minutes to the bank with another hard fought pre-season test against 1874 Northwich, finishing with a 1-1 draw following a promising performance. Throughout the first half, Nathan Caine & Josh Askew once again showcased what is developing into an exciting partnership along the left flank, with Caine coming closest to opening the scoring from a Trialist #7 cross into the box drawing a smart stop from the '74 stopper.
Indeed, the opening goal soon came through Nathan Caine. The '74 defence failed to adequately clear a Jordan Boon cross into the penalty area, with Caine comfortably collecting the loose ball and left with what he turned into a simple task of placing home from a dozen yards out.
Following a first half in which the Colls controlled the majority of play, the second developed into a much scrappier affair, with the game becoming stop-start as the Collieries physicality & resilience were tested against uncompromising opposition.
Ten minutes into the second stanza, 1874 were gifted an equaliser as an Adam Rooney back-pass from outside of the box took an unfortunate bobble over the foot of the Trialist Colls' stopper, an own goal but harsh & highly unfortunate for all involved.
As the Colls began to rotate & experiment with substitutions, 1874 began to maintain their first spell of control over the game during the middle of the second half, recording their only shot on goal from distance with twenty minutes remaining.
In the dying embers, the Colls regained their foothold and began to push on for an equaliser, Trialist #17, Jesse Ebosele & Jordan Scanlon providing forward reinforcements as the Stripes put the Greens under the cosh, however ultimately the late pressure was to no avail.
Next up, the Black & Whites are back on the road to another NPL First Division opponent against Trafford on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off. The Colls: Trialist #1, Jack Evans, Josh Askew, Trialist #4, Adam Rooney, Jordan Boon, Trialist #7, Ben Rydel, Lewis Mansell, Harvey Gregson & Nathan Caine - Subs (All used): Jordan Fagbola, Nico Defreitas-Hansen, Jordan Scanlon, Sidi Fofana-Sanogo, Jesse Ebosele, Trialists #17, #18 & #19