Report: Atherton Collieries 3-0 Chadderton

Atherton Collieries are in the Third Round of the FA Vase for only the second time in their history, after a 3-0 win over Chadderton at a rain drenched Alder House. A goal in each half from Jordan Cover, and one from Mark Battersby, earned Colls a deserved win although the margin of victory was a little tough on Chadderton, who played their part in an entertaining cup tie played in non-stop rain. Colls now travel to face Northern League side Newton Aycliffe, conquerors of Colne on Saturday, for what will be their first appearance in the Third Round of the competition since season 1992-93 when they lost 4-0 at Bridgnorth Town. Chadderton began the game well and after some early pressure, they created two good chances in the space of 30 seconds as the game approached the ten minute mark. On each occasion, Jordan Stepion was denied, first seeing a shot from the edge of the box deflected wide, and then moments later he curled a free kick over the wall, but just wide of the post as Colls keeper Taberner scrambled across his goal. But it was Colls who hit the front on 12 minutes from their first clear cut chance of the game. Mark Truffas and Mark Battersby both had shots blocked before the ball was played wide to Brad Cooke on the right, and his inch perfect cross found the head of Jordan Cover, who placed a header high into the top corner of the net, giving the keeper no chance. Cover then turned provider four minutes later, setting up Mark Battersby for a shooting chance that Chadderton keeper Ashley Shenton blocked with his legs, and at the midway point of the half Shenton was called into action once more, when he pushed away a Cover shot from the left hand side of the penalty area. But it was Chadderton who finished the half more strongly, and after a 30 yard effort from skipper Sean Sherwood flew wide, Jordan Stepion had another chance three minutes before the break, when his volley into the ground from a Niall Sultan cross was safely held by Taberner in the Colls goal. After a fast moving opening 45 minutes in which play swung from end to end, goalscoring opportunities were less in evidence in the opening period of the second half, but as the half wore on Colls began to enjoy more territory and took a hold on the game. Mark Battersby shot wide from a Ben Hardcastle cross just after the hour, and another run from Hardcastle created a chance for Josh Messer, but coming in at pace he blazed the ball over the bar from close range. But Colls finally got their second goal 18 minutes from time, although it was a goal that Chadderton will want to forget. A misunderstanding in the middle of park gifted possession to Colls, and when the ball was played through to Mark Battersby, the striker had time to pick his spot in the bottom corner. With eight minutes remaining Jordan Cover could have made it three when he beat the offside trap to set up a one-on-one with the keeper, but Shenton reacted quickly to race off his line and force Cover into shooting wide. However, Cover did get his second goal of the game in the final minute, when a long ball forward from deep caught out the Chadderton defence, and Cover took a good first touch before burying his shot into the bottom corner of the net to round off a good night's work. Atherton Collieries manager Michael Clegg said: "Chadderton aren't having the best of times in the league at the moment, but they came here and gave it a real go, and we were lucky to be one up at half time. "But luckily we stick at it and we got what we deserved in the end, and I thought in the second half the lads were absolutely brilliant. "We've got so much firepower that if you give us chances we're going to take them, and I think we could have run away with it in the end, but their keeper made a couple of great saves". On Saturday Colls visit Bacup Borough in the Men United Cup and on Monday leaguer leaders Colne arrive at Alder House for a much anticipated clash. Ko 7.45pm. Please check Colls social media for up to date fixture information. Atherton Collieries: Danny Taberner, Jake Kenny, Nathan Battersby, Josh Messer, Callum Jones (Grimshaw), Mark Ayres, Ben Hardcastle (J. Jones), Brad Cooke, Mark Battersby, Jordan Cover, Mark Truffas (Holt) - Substitutions: Kristian Holt, Keith Wedge, Gareth Peet, Matt Grimshaw, Jacob Jones Chadderton: Ashley Shenton, Macauley Harewood, Chris Pauley, Benjamin Fletcher, Dylan O'Connor, Adam Turner, James Done, Sean Sherwood, Daniel Morrow, Jordan Stepien, Niall Sultan - Substitutions: Adam Sweeney, Liam Wood, Dixon Charlton, Leon Iluobe, Stephen Ledjon Attendance: 128 Match report by Ian Templeman, originally published on the NWCFL website.  

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