Report: Atherton Collieries 3-1 Cammell Laird 1907

Following last week’s last minute 2-1 win away at Congleton Town, the Collieries were buoyed going into Saturday’s game against Cammell Laird 1907. The Alder House surface had been drummed throughout the week by drop after drop of rain and hail – taking this into account then the pitch didn’t look all that bad. Sure, the combination of rain and warm-up exercises didn’t do it any help but after all this is Non-League. Clegg and Co had made a few changes to the starting XI for this encounter. Nathan Battersby came in at right back; Jordan Cover completed the 4-4-2 formation by coming in up-front alongside Captain Mark Battersby. For the opening period of the game, both sides judged each other’s strengths and weaknesses as it was hard to play a certain type of football on the now very wet surface. On six minutes, Laird’s opened the afternoon’s affair with a tame shot easily collected by Goalkeeper Danny Taberner. However, two minutes later and the Colls very nearly took an early lead. On the edge of the area, Cover knocked the ball across to the far side of the box to strike partner M. Battersby. The prolific striker touched the ball slightly forward deeper into the box, only for the effort to be easily jumped upon by 1907 stopper Michael Langley. This wasn’t a one sided game as both sides provided a number of potential efforts that would see them take the lead. On 13 minutes a long ball was played up to Laird’s Danny Dixon who chested the ball down and directed into the path of strike partner Craig Cairns. Laird’s eventual man-of-the-match winner scuffed his effort at goal however. A wasted opportunity for 1907. With 28 minutes on the clock, Atherton took the lead. Left back Gaz Peet curled the ball from the right side of the field into the packed Laird’s area from a free kick. Peet’s set piece was poked at goal by Brad Cooke. The sturdy midfielder’s effort bounced against the underside of the bar and over the line. A good Collieries’ move. Unfortunately, the above move was undone on 39 minutes as 1907 found a way back into the game. Cairns with a nice move and finish to send the Colls back to the drawing board. It didn’t take long for Atherton to return, fortunately, with an instant reply a minute later. Nathan Battersby threaded the ball through to name-sake Mark to put him one-on-one with the goalkeeper around the edge of the area. The forward prays for opportunities such as this and simply lobbed the ball over the advancing Langley and into the back of the net. A goal of the season contender. Before the whistle blew, Cairns (clearly Laird’s danger man) fired just over the bar. Half Time – Atherton Collieries 2-1 Cammell Laird 1907 During the second half, conditions took a turn for the worst as heavy hail descended upon Alder House. This naturally resulted in a slightly slower period of football. The first real event of note in the second half came on 49 minutes. A Ben Hardcastle corner was drilled into the 1907 box, defender Mark Ayres rose like a salmon and bulleted his header into the back of the net, something Ayres clearly does well. A minute later Langley denied the clearly revved up M. Battersby who bombarded his way into the box but took the ball just that little bit too far, Langley collected with apparent ease. With three quarters of the game gone there was a handball shout from the Collieries, however the referee was clear and concise, no penalty. This caused the game to heat up a little and following a little scuffle, with both sets of players exchanging handbags, the referee did a good job as he contained the negative energy that bounced around Alder House at this moment. However, after this the Colls lost their shape a little and on 69 minutes Taberner was called into action. The ever reliable shot stopper did very well to jump and tip over a 1907 header from inside the Colls’ area. Thankfully, Colls regained the impetus after just a few minutes blip. This is commendable considering the fact that hale still pelted into their faces thanks to the heavy winds. As twelve minutes of the game remained Hardcastle sent his effort well over the bar after a corner was headed out to him. Minutes after, Atherton could have had four on the scoreboard. Mark Truffas collected the ball and played across goal to Cover. Cover was contained by the Lairds defence and couldn’t reach the ball despite his stretch. Instead, the ball fell to N. Battersby who had ran into the area and pelted the ball at goal. Unfortunately, in the build-up 1907 brought every man back and the shot was blocked on the line and cleared away. Full Time – Atherton Collieries 3-1 Cammell Laird 1907 A fine Colls win in horrid condtions, Clegg and his side march on doing the people of Atherton proud. We have two games this week – on Tuesday we make the journey to AFC Blackpool and on Friday we welcome Nelson to Alder House as Friday Night Football returns. Atherton Collieries – TEAM COMING SOON Match Report by Zach Pierce

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