Report: Bradford (PA) 1-2 Colls

Atherton Collieries’ hopes of Northern Premier League survival were given a significant boost on Saturday, as the Colls won 2-1 at Bradford (Park Avenue.)

Goals from Enock Lusiama and Josh Solomon-Davies put the away side two-up, before Will Longbottom’s weather-assisted set-piece halved the deficit early in the second-half.

The game’s opening goal came 26 minutes in, as a pin-point long-range pass from Colls ‘keeper Nico Defreitas-Hansen found Nathan Caine in behind. 

Caine then laid the ball off to striker Lusiama, who showed great composure to lift the ball over Brad Wade to give visitors the lead.

More delightful Defreitas-Hansen distribution provided the opportunity for the second just eight minutes later, with Solomon-Davies set away by a lovely diagonal hit. 

And the Saint Lucia international would make no mistake, firing home to give Atherton a two-goal advantage heading into half-time. 

The home side would find a potential route back into the game shortly after the break, however, as the raging West Yorkshire wind caught hold of Longbottom’s corner kick, and carried the ball straight in at the near-post.

Those blustery conditions, combined with equally driving rain, made the second-half a real battle for both teams, but particularly for the Colls, who were kicking against the significant breeze. 

It was a battle from which David Chadwick’s men would ultimately emerge victorious though, albeit not without a few scares, as substitutes Jordan Preston and Chinedu Osadebe went closest to finding an Avenue equaliser. 

2-1 would prove to be the final score however, and that result takes the Colls within four points of safety, with games in hand on those immediately above the drop zone. 

Atherton Collieries will attempt to carry that positive momentum into their next Northern Premier League fixture, which sees them host Whitby Town at the Skuna Stadium on Saturday December 16.