Report: Atherton Collieries 2-4 Padiham

Collieries welcomed Padiham to Alder House on Monday night following on from Saturday’s fantastic comeback in the last five minutes at West Didsbury and Chorlton to win 2-1. That was thanks to two goals from substitute Nathan Battersby; goals that earned him a place in the starting lineup on Monday. Clegg kept the same starting XI with the exception of the one change, Gareth Peet for Battersby. Mark Battersby, Brad Cooke and Josh Messer were still serving suspensions while Matt Boland still nursed his injury. In the absence of Cooke, Matt Grimshaw again took the armband. Padiham, like Colls, are new to the NWCFL Premier Division this season. The Burnley based side were relegated from the Northern Premier League last season as they finished bottom having won six games, drawing a further six and losing 30. The Colls started the game the brighter of the two sides and held possession well in the first stages of the game. This early domination worked out well for Atherton as they took the lead with the game just one minute old. Ben Hardcastle swung a corner into the packed Padiham box. James Kirby managed to get a foot to the ball and poked it into the back of the net. Padiham reacted well and on 11 minutes found themselves with their first attack of the game. Padiham’s Christopher Turner played a free-kick into the box for Andrew Hill to rise highest and head the ball but it flew well over the bar. The Collieries were two goals to the good just seconds later. The ball was played across to winger Mark Truffas who was located on the top left hand corner of the Padiham box. He curled the ball with ease over the Padiham backline and goalkeeper and straight into the right hand corner of the goal. A fine finish from Truffas. Another corner caused problems for Padiham on 14 minutes. This time, Truffas drilled the ball across the face of goal and to the far edge of the box. Defender James Moore was on hand to volley well over. The Colls had a good opportunity to be three goals ahead on 20 minutes. This was thanks to a solo-effort from Hardcastle. The winger collected the ball in midfield and pelted towards goal. Unfortunately, his shot trickled straight into the palms of Padiham stopper Sean Davis. Five minutes later and Atherton were on the attack again, Truffas played the ball into the box for Kris Holt to then fire wide of the mark. With fifteen minutes to go before half time the reliable Danny Taberner was called upon to help defend the lead. The goalkeeper was forced into a fine save after an ambitious Padiham shot. Taberner managed to jump up to his left hand corner and tip the dangerous ball over the bar and away for a corner. It was on 36 minutes that Padiham pulled a goal back. Hill, from 25 yards out curled an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner of the goal, both sets of fans realised what a fine effort it was and duly applauded. Padiham developed control of the game over the remainder of the half. On 40 minutes a Padiham long ball forward evaded everyone. Defender Matt Grimshaw chased the ball down, along with Padiham’s Chappy Massamba. On the edge of the area, the two collided with Taberner; thankfully this was after the goalkeeper had advanced from his goal and cleared the ball away. An equaliser was found by Padiham with just seconds to go until the interval. A cross-cum-shot was delivered into the Collieries’ area. Taberner parried the ball down and away. Unfortunately, Massamba was on hand to pick up the loose ball, before he fired it into the back of the net. Half Time – Atherton Collieries 2-2 Padiham For the majority of the second half, Padiham were the better side and dominated the game as the Colls struggled to get a grip of the ball. They were impressively organised at the back as they dealt with everything thrown at them by Colls. Despite this, Collieries started the half brightly and on 55 minutes had an opportunity to retake the lead. Truffas received the ball from a throw in and curled it into the box. Nathan Battersby, in the centre of the box, tapped the ball onto goal and straight into Davis’ palms. Seconds later, Padiham took the lead in the game for the first time. It was Alex Ralph who volleyed into the back of the net after the ball was drilled across the face of goal and into his path. A fine goal from Ralph that sent the Padiham faithful behind the goal into raptures. As the game hit the 60 minute mark Padiham had another effort on goal. After an attacking move, the ball landed to the feet of Massamba who scuffed his shot just wide of the mark. Minutes later Padiham missed their best opportunity of the game. Just over the half way line, Moore lost possession of the ball to Murphy. Now in possession, the Padiham player knocked the ball through to teammate Joshua Emmott. Now one-on-one with the advanced Taberner, he chipped the ball marginally wide. It was at this point during the game that Clegg and his management team shuffled the pack. Ahmed Sulay, Gareth Peet and Jordan Cover came on from the bench in an attempt to energise the Collieries and find a way back into the game. It was Peet who presented Atherton with their first attack for a long period of time. On 75 minutes, he brought the ball down after he received it from a throw-in. Peet cut inside and advanced along the rim of the area before he curled well wide of the post. Padiham got their fourth and final goal of the game on 77 minutes. Murphy volleyed into the back of the net after the ball was played over to him. In an attempt to find any way back into the game, the Collieries fought and fought until the final whistle. On 86 minutes they found themselves with a corner. Mark Truffas curled the ball into the box as he aimed from the front post. Cover rose highest and headed the ball down towards the goal. However, the Padiham defence were on hand to clear the ball off the line and away from danger. It wasn’t to be the Collieries’ night. Padiham attacked the Collieries goal with just seconds left on the clock. The ball was crossed to Ralph who brought the ball down and passed into the centre of the area to substitute Curtis Haley who played the ball straight into Taberner’s hands. It would have been a flattering scoreline for Padiham had they had made it five, but they were more than worthy of their victory. Full Time – Atherton Collieries 2-4 Padiham Heartbreak for the Collieries as they found themselves having squandered a two goal advantage. However, credit to Padiham as they overturned the two goal deficit to eventually win the game. Thanks to all who turned out, a fantastic crowd of 216 was recorded – support that was and is much appreciated by everyone at the Football Club. This game will bring experience to the squad, who will learn from this game and go again on Saturday. Bootle is the destination on Saturday in what will be an FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round game. As always, your support will be both vital to the squad and appreciated by everyone. Health Rewards with Vitality Man of the Match – Mark Truffas Atherton Collieries: Danny Taberner, Jake Kenny, Keith Wedge, Matt Cross, James Moore, Matt Grimshaw ©, Ben Hardcastle, Kristian Holt, James Kirby, Nathan Battersby and Mark Truffas – Substitutes: Mark Ayres, Ahmed Sulay, Gareth Peet, Andy Heald and Jordan Cover. Padiham: Sean Davis, Joshua Walne, Seydou Bamba, Joshua Emmott, Thomas Fowler, Lee Botham, Andrew Hill, Christopher Turner ©, Alex Ralph, Alexander Murphy and Chappy Massamba – Substitutes: Jordan Scott, Samuel Farrow, Curtis Haley, Nathan Egan and Martin Parkes. Match Report – Zach Pierce

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