I Don't Like Thursdays Ashton Athletic 2 Atherton Collieries 0 For the second consecutive Thursday, Colls put in an insipid first half display and deservedly went down to a first ever competitive defeat to a workmanlike Ashton Athletic team. The lads didn't seem to want to be at Brocstedes Park. Granted the pitch wasn't in prime condition but given the infamous shellacking the pitch received in the February Alsager Town match up along with over 80 games on it already what else could be expected? The hosts just adapted to the lively conditions better. It started okay but in retrospect it was all over bar the shouting when Isacc Kusaloka opened the scoring for Athletic in the 12th minute. He chased down a hopeful through ball getting between a couple of defenders. He then skipped round Colls custodian Adam Reid before tapping into an empty net.
Ten minutes later he had doubled his sides advantage with a goal almost reminiscent of the first.
Colls responded(ish). Jimmy Ball smashed a freekick over the bar and Jordan Cover did the same with an instinctive volley following a fine Dave Sherlock ball. Athletic centre half cum skipper, joint manager of three and groundsman Ben Kay then had a shot cleared following ping pong in the Colls box before Kusaloka somehow missed a tap in sitter at the far post for his hat-trick. The away side were marginally better after the break following a tongue lashing from the management but honestly never looked like getting back into the game. Athletic had a few chances, Mark Ayres was forced to head clear on the goal line and ex Colls mon Danny Smith saw his goalbound attempt deflected wide. Colls best efforts fell to Ball and James Kirby in the last 10 minutes but both missed the target. A deserved win for the hosts who didn't need to get out of second gear and perhaps they owed us one. We had played them six times in the last three seasons winning five and drawing the other. Messrs Foulds, Kay and Pitts must just be happy to get the Colls monkey off their backs. However the black n white stripes were woeful. Of course it was dead rubber game and the players are probably naffed off with football but the management expected more and certainly made their feelings known in a longer than usual post match dressing room discussion.
Atherton Collieries: Adam Reid, Kristian Holt, Gareth Peet, Dave Sherlock (Justin Pickering), Mark Ayres, Matt Grimshaw (Jake Kenny), Ben Hardcastle, Brad Cooke, Jordan Cover (James Kirby), Jimmy Ball, Mark Truffas - Substitutions: James Kirby, Justin Pickering, Jake Kenny, Andy Heald, Kyle Haslam
Match report by Emil Anderson