Report: Brighouse Town 1-1 Atherton Collieries

The Collieries returned to FA Cup action on Saturday as they made the journey across the Pennines to Evo-Stick Northern Premier League Division One North side Brighouse Town, a game that was anticipated by all in the Colls camp. The Collieries returned to FA Cup action on Saturday as they made the journey across the Pennines to Evo-Stick Northern Premier League Division One North side Brighouse Town, a game that was anticipated by all in the Colls camp. Brig had made a decent start to the season having won two, drawn one and lost one of their four opening league games. Clegg had again shuffled the pack for this game after a very busy start to the season for Atherton. Nathan Battersby, Kristian Holt and James Kirby were all welcomed back into the side in place of Josh Messer, Matt Boland and the injured Jake Kenny. Ahmed Sulay found himself back in the side, starting on the bench after a period out due to injury. A coach load of Collieries fans made the journey east and many more in Cars – a fantastic atmosphere was created, one that spurred the players on throughout the game. The game started brightly for the Colls who looked the better side for this opening period of the game. On seven minutes, Atherton could have been ahead if it wasn’t for Brighouse keeper Paul Hagreen. James Kirby had the ball threaded through to him in the area. The forward then released his shot on goal which was blocked by Hagreen who advanced from his line in an attempt to narrow the angles down. Nine minutes later Kirby had another chance to hand. He took a pass from Kristian Holt who had won the ball in midfield, advanced down the left wing and into area. Under dogged defensive pressure he fired the ball over the bar. However, despite the early pressure Brighouse took the lead on 22 minutes. From a corner, the ball was curled into the packed box. Brig’s Daniel Facey initial header was saved well by Danny Taberner but Leon Henry was sharpest to the rebound and he tapped in from six yards out. For a short period of the first half Brig held the momentum and two minutes before the half hour mark they had another effort on goal. Ernest Boafo collected the ball on the right wing and cut inside to the edge on the area. Fortunately for Colls his effort went just wide of the mark. On 29 minutes Mark Battersby, who adapted to a new forward role throughout the game, had his first effort of the game. He rose highest to head a Mark Truffas header over the bar. This galvanised Battersby and he had another three good attempts in quick succession after. His first, on 38 minutes, was thwarted by yet another fine save from Hagreen. The second came on 40 minutes when the forward was denied by the post after he drilled his shot around the Brighouse defence. And finally, his third, a minute before half time, was curled well over the bar. Taberner was also back to his best with a game changing parry away when faced with a one on one situation. To go in two down may have been too much of a mountain to climb. Half Time – Brighouse Town 1-0 Atherton Collieries The first half was that of an equal affair between the two sides, and there wasn't much between the teams in the second period initially, but as the half progressed Colls began to gain the upper hand. The Collieries were presented with the first opportunity of the half. The ball was played across the pitch to Ben Hardcastle who collected on the edge of the area. Unfortunately, the shot from the midfielder sailed over the bar. Hardcastle was at the thick of it yet again on 55 minutes. After a Colls corner was sent deep into the Brighouse area, defender Matt Grimshaw recieved the ball from a pass and crossed the ball back into the box. Hardcastle got to the ball first and directed his shot on goal. The Brighouse defence, however, blocked the shot on the line and cleared away from danger. Two minutes later, Hardcastle deservedly got the equaliser. After possession within the Atherton half, Colls’ Captain Brad Cooke collected and threaded a long ball through to Hardcastle. The winger then advanced towards goal and slipped his shot underneath Hagreen to send Collieries’ players, fans and management wild. Soon after, Atherton very nearly had two if it wasn’t for the linesman’s flag. Substitute Jordan Cover denied by an offside call. The remainder of the game consisted of half chances for both sides as they progressed and looked for a winner. Both M. Battersby and Cover had good efforts on goal with Cover only denied by a last-ditch Brighouse clearance off the line. Gareth Peet impressed after coming off the bench and he went on a mazy run into the Town box but showed reluctance to shoot and the ball was cleared. In an extended period of additional time, Brig found themselves with a free kick in a perfect position just off the edge of the area. However Taberner made a good, solid save from the dead ball situation. Full Time – Brighouse Town 1-1 Atherton Collieries A good game of FA Cup football, to come back from one goal down at an Evo-Stick side is fantastic in itself. An equal game between the two sides was witnessed by all attendees; the Collieries go again on Monday night in the replay of this game. Listen to Manager Michael Clegg’s thoughts on the game by clicking HERE. Your support on Saturday was immense and the atmosphere created was something quite special – on Monday, let’s see the same again and together cheer on the Boys in Black and White. Brighouse Town: Paul Hagreen, Ben Thornton, Matthew Stor, Sam Hewitt, Adam Wilson, James Pollard, Ryan Hall, Tom Haigh, Ernest Boafo, Daniel Facey and Leon Henry © - Substitutes: Steve Hollingworth, Harry Stead, Will Tolley, Kurt Harris, Ashley Scully, Daniel Illingworth and Paul Quinn. Atherton Collieries: Danny Taberner, Nathan Battersby, Keith Wedge, Kristian Holt, Matt Grimshaw, Mark Ayres, Ben Hardcastle, Bradley Cooke ©, James Kirby, Mark Battersby and Mark Truffas – Substitutes: Jordan Cover, Andy Heald, Gareth Peet, Josh Messer, Ahmed Sulay, James Moore and Matt Boland. Man of the Match: Ben Hardcastle Attendance: 140 Match Report by Zach Pierce

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