Report: Atherton Collieries 1-3 1874 Northwich

On Saturday, promotion hopefuls 1874 Northwich were welcomed to Alder House for a highly anticipated NWCFL clash. Coming into the game it could be noted that 1874 had made an excellent start to the season having won all of their first three games, keeping clean sheets throughout. The Collieries had also made a good start to the season, winning three of their opening four fixtures. Michael Clegg had made slight changes to his side before the game; Colls had switched to a 4-5-1 formation with striker Mark Battersby the lone striker. Jake Kenny had been dropped to the bench in place of Nathan Battersby and Josh Messer was welcomed back into the side in midfield. The afternoon’s affairs started in reflection as the 287 strong crowd remembered Atherton Collieries supporter Phil Grime who very sadly passed away on Thursday 20th August. Also known as Lazarus, Grime followed Atherton home and away and will be missed by all. A minutes silence before the game as a mark of respect was impeccably observed by all. Both sides found it hard to grow into the game within the first 20 minutes as Collieries and 1874 battled in midfield in an attempt to control possession. The first real effort of the game was recorded on 17 minutes and came from the home side. A long ball was played through the Northwich defence and up to Mark Battersby who ran onto the ball. From the edge of the area his shot flew well wide after he had caught the ball wrong on his foot. Throughout the half, it can be argued that Atherton just edged their opponents in regards to chances. On the half hour mark Mark Truffas had a good chance to take his side into the lead but he blazed well over the bar after the ball was played to him inside of the box. Two minutes later and 1874 registered their first effort on goal. A fantastic cross was played into the area for Michael Brandon to attack with his head. The forward bulleted his header towards goal, only to be denied by a superb save by Danny Taberner who got across his goal and parried away from danger. On 36 minutes, the deadlock was broken – the Collieries took the lead. From just outside the far left hand corner of the 1874 box, Truffas curled his lobbed shot around the Northwich defence, past goalkeeper Matthew Conkie and into the top right hand corner of the goal. A fine finish from Truffas who is now on record as the first person to score against 1874 this season. The Colls had the chance to make it 2-0 on 42 minutes. Kris Holt, who had been lively throughout the half, caused further problems for 1874 when he robbed possession on the edge of the area. He ran through but just poked his shot wide of the mark. Half Time – Atherton Collieries 1-0 1874 Northwich The second half started as the first half had finished as the Men in black and white just edged the game. On 47 minutes, Holt was denied twice from the edge of the area thanks to impressive defending from 1874’s Daniel Thomas who dived in front of the shots. Holt was at the heart of a Colls forward move again just a few minutes later. On the edge of the 1874 area, Brad Cooke laid off to Holt who advanced before he fired the ball wide of the goal. As the half grew on, Northwich began to control the game and on 51 minutes they equalised. 1874 won a free kick and Matthew Ward stood up and took the responsibility. He sent his free kick across to the far post for Neil Chappell to redirect across goal. Danny Thomas was on hand for Northwich as he poked the loose ball home. 1874 now controlled the game and they pressed in search for a winner. On 68 minutes, they deservedly made it two. A Ward shot was blocked by the Collieries defence, however the loose ball was deflected into the path of Brandon who simply slotted the ball past the advanced Taberner. Atherton found it hard to get a grip of the match, while 1874 continued to press to make their advantage more secure. On 80 minutes they were denied by Taberner in their attempt to do just that. The ball was played across to Brandon who fired at the goal from an angle. Unfortunately for the lively striker, Taberner was alert to make a good save. Northwich had three goals to their name with just eight minutes left on the clock. Ryan Jackson fired a low and hard shot into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Seconds remained when the Collieries found themselves with a free kick on the edge of the area and a chance to make 1874 sweat a little. However, Truffas’ free kick was directed straight into the palms of Conkie. Full Time – Atherton Collieries 1-3 1874 Northwich Well-done to 1874 who are now the only side in the NWCFL Premier Division yet to drop points. Thank you to all who turned out on Saturday to offer their support to the Colls, as always it is much appreciated - Clegg and his boys go again on Tuesday as they make the journey to Squires Gate. Listen to Captain Brad Cooke’s post-match thoughts on the game by clicking on the following link - https://audioboom.com/boos/3493714-cooke-reacts-to-1874. Atherton Collieries: Danny Taberner, Keith Wedge, Nathan Battersby, Josh Messer, Matt Grimshaw, Mark Ayres, Mark Truffas, Brad Cooke ©, Mark Battersby, Kristian Holt and Gareth Peet – Substitutes: Jordan Cover, Ben Hardcastle, James Kirby, Matt Boland and Jake Kenny. 1874 Northwich: Matthew Conkie, Paul Connor, Louis James, Daniel Thomas, Dilan Lomas, Neil Chappel ©, Aaron Kirk, Matthew Wooley, Michael Brandon, Matthew Ward and Ryan Jackson – Substitutes: Martin Hill, Stephen McNichol, Ryan Mitchell, Elliot Ledwars and Ryan Stewart. Man of the Match – Kristian Holt Opposition Man of the Match – Michael Brandon Attendance: 287 Match Report by Zach Pierce

Squad Update: 06/06/2024

Atherton Collieries would like to wish the best of luck to midfielders Nathan Caine and Ben Rydel, who have today departed the Skuna Stadium to

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