Report: AFC Blackpool 1-4 Atherton Collieries

After visiting these parts a few weeks ago to see Colls at Squires Gate in the league, it was back to Blackpool for one of only two First Round games, with the other clubs that bothered to enter all getting a bye to the next round.Lovely weather for strolling along the prom but it got particularly chilly by kick off with the sun long gone. My first visit to the Mechanics, and I quite liked the place, with plenty of cover. At one end, the locals had a very cosy set up with half a dozen chairs, a radio and even a table, all presumably liberated from the bar. Very decent bar and the half-time hot chocolate was an absolute gem...I'll even let off my other half as she was supposed to be getting me a Bovril instead! Wink Considering it's a competition that nobody seems to take seriously any more, it ended up being a very eventful game! The hosts went in front on 16 minutes but were pegged back 9 minutes later when the keeper had a nightmare, horribly misjudging a Mark Truffas cross and fumbling it in to his own goal. Sulay Ahmed then justifably saw red for the visitors for a bit of a wild challenge on the Blackpool centre back, before the numbers were evened up when the hosts had a man sent off for pulling back Jordan Cover in the area and denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. The referee initially looked to just be showing a yellow card, but a quick chat with the linesman saw it end up as a straight red. The goalkeeper more than made up for his earlier error though with a cracking save from Truffas' resultant penalty, leaving the sides square at the break with a goal each and ten men each. With such an even first half, you'd have got good odds on what followed in the second half, with Colls coasting at 4-1 up within thirteen minutes of the restart. 2-1 arrived only 6 minutes after the break when a handball on the line, albeit one oddly only worthy of a yellow card, saw Colls given a penalty that was duly dispatched by Jordan Cover. Cover then played a huge part in setting up the third goal three minutes later, rounding a couple of defenders and skipping an attempted ankle tap from the goalkeeper to lay it on a plate for James Kirby to tap the ball home. The win was completed still two minutes before the hour mark when, following on from an absolute screamer in the 4-3 league win at Nelson last Friday, Cover got his second of the night with an absolute rocket from the edge of the area that flew in to the top corner.
Team: Dryden, Jones, Heald, Messer, Grimshaw (c), Cooke, Boland, Sulay, Cover, Kirby, Truffas. 
Subs Used - Iley & Butler.
Attendance: 45
Report by Matt Lawton

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