Report: Ashton Athletic 0-3 Colls

The Colls made their third visit to Brocstedes Park this season to play Premier Division side Ashton Athletic in the 2nd round of the Men United Cup. The game started off equally with both sides attempting to play smooth passing football in windy conditions. No real efforts of note occurred within the first quarter of the game until on nineteen minutes Ben Hardcastle took the lead for Colls. Following a nice move, Matt Boland made his way into the Ashton area, he ran across goal before spotting Hardcastle in a better position at the far post. Boland passed the ball over to Hardcastle, who coolly tapped home past goalkeeper Jay Foulds. Minutes later and Ashton had an opportunity to equalise. Athletic's Adam Howard made his way through Atherton’s defence after they were caught napping at the back. Howard fired his shot at goal but goalkeeper Danny Taberner did exceedingly well to save. Colls could have made it 2-0 on 30 minutes. Boland - who caused problems all afternoon down his left wing - whipped the ball into the Ashton box. Mark Truffas met the cross with his head but Foulds did well to save. With only minutes of the first half remaining Atherton had another fine opportunity to double their advantage. Truffas collected the ball in his own half following a failed Ashton counter attack. The left winger continued his run having twisted and turned his way into the Ashton half and then box. Truffas chipped the ball to the back post to teammate Hardcastle who from yards, fired over the bar. Half Time – Ashton Athletic 0-1 Atherton Collieries The Collieries were two goals to the good on 61 minutes. Boland passed the ball onto Mark Battersby who was standing inside of the six yard box. The low ball was met at near post by Battersby who's strong effort was parried into the net by Foulds who could do nothing more. On 70 minutes Colls had another effort on goal. Centre back Mark Ayres found himself in an attacking position after a poor Ashton defensive clearance. Ayres - who was captaining the side - chested the ball down and fired the ball just wide of the left hand post from thirty yards out. It was a speculative effort but well worth a go given the conditions. Seven minutes later and goalkeeper Foulds prevented Atherton from scoring their third. Battersby received the ball and made his way into the Ashton area. However, his close range shot was saved really well by Foulds. With five minutes of the game remaining, a Wes Bancroft cross caused further problems for the Ashton defence. Substitute Jordan Cover got his head to the ball first and it looped over the bar, landing on the roof of the net. Seconds remained of the game when the Collieries got their third. Cover chased a long ball forward and managed to lob the advancing Ashton keeper and celebrated as the ball bounced over the line and into the back of the net. Full Time – Ashton Athletic 0-3 Atherton Collieries Another fine Colls win against higher league opposition as they now progress to the third round in the Men United Cup, after the game, the draw was made and the Collieries face Abbey Hey away in the next round. As always, thank you to out hosts on Saturday, Ashton Athletic, and thank you to everyone for your continued support. Ashton Athletic: Jay Foulds, Louis Edwards, Paul Casey, Ian Rowlands, Luke Holden, Sam Bailey, Adam Gilchrist, Jamie Harrison, Martyn Jackson, Michael Downing, Adam Howard Atherton Collieries: Danny Taberner, Jake Kenny, James Brooks, Matt Grimshaw, Mark Ayres, Nathan Battersby, Kris Holt, Ben Hardcastle, Matt Boland (Brad Cooke), Mark Truffas (Jordan Cover), Mark Battersby (Westley Bancroft)

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