Report: Colls 0-0 Kendal Town

On a wet night in Atherton a goalless draw was a fair result between Colls and Kendal Town. It was Collieries first home match in the Evo-Stik League and they came into the historical night on the back of a convincing 2-0 win away at Colne. Their visitors, Kendal Town, had fared less well over the weekend going down 5-2 at home to Mossley. There weren't to be as many goals on this occasion as both defences held firm and allowed their opponents very little in the way of goalscoring opportunities. Brad Cooke started at right back following Jake Kenny's injury on Saturday, with Danny Lambert winning himself a place in the starting line-up. Kris Holt, who was re-signed from Runcorn Linnets on the morning of the match, made the bench and was brought on in the second half. Attacking down the slope, Colls looked to knock the ball around and did so in a professional manner. A possible criticism could be that they were guilty of overplaying it at times while their opponents were more direct with their play. There's nothing wrong with sticking to your guns and playing football though. The Colls attacking trio of Jordan Cover, Darrhyl Mason and Ben Hardcastle tried all night to get in behind The Mintcakes rearguard and their efforts were appreciated by the vast majority of the 355 who were in attendance. It was a compliment to the Kendal centre half pairing that Colls were restricted to just a couple of Jordan Cover efforts from the edge of the box in the opening 20 minutes. Will Kitchen however dealt with both, pushing them out for corner kicks. Kendal were close to forcing an opening themselves on 12 minutes when their forward charged into the area from the left hand side. Danny Lafferty raced back just in time and expertly put in a last ditch tackle to ensure the striker wasn't left one-on-one with goalkeeper Adam Reid. The first time Reid was truly tested was four minutes before the interval when a low driven effort was heading towards the bottom right hand corner. It was palmed away and the resulting corner was once again dealt with brilliantly by a defence that is seemingly growing in confidence each and every match. Colls attacked up the slope in the second half and once again found their chances few and far between as the Kendal centre half was seemingly first to everything. Hardcastle was withdrawn ten minutes into the half, struggling to deal with a knock after being clattered just a few minutes into the game. He was replaced by Holt and within ten minutes he came mightily close to returning to the club with a bang. Picking up the ball on the edge of the area he curled his effort towards the right hand post but goalkeeper Kitchen applied the faintest of touches to steer it wide of the target. A minute later and the Colls fans once again thought their side had opened the scoring when Jordan Cover found the back of the net. His neat finish when one-on-one with Kitchen was correctly ruled out for offside and the search for an elusive goal continued. Kendal offered very little in the way of attempts on goal as the rain continued to bounce down. Brad Cooke came close on 74 minutes when he connected almost too sweetly with an Iain Howard corner kick from the right hand side. It was going to be one of those nights and the final effort came in time added on when Jamie Forbes' header dropped wide of the right hand post. It wasn't the most fluid of matches that Alder House has seen over the last few seasons but not every game can be perfect. The slick surface allowed players from both sides opportunities to commit questionable challenges, with the referee blowing his whistle quite a number of times throughout the match. Kendal put in an organised and well drilled performance and will probably be just as happy with a point as Colls. Four points from two matches and two clean sheets from Atherton Collieries. That means that the Colls finish the night top of the table; a tongue in cheek boast to have. Who would have ever thought that would happen three years ago?  Atherton Collieries: Adam Reid, Brad Cooke (C), Gareth Peet, Josh Messer, Danny Lafferty, Jamie Forbes, Ben Hardcastle, Jordan Cover, Iain Howard, Darrhyl Mason - Substitutes: Matt Grimshaw, Matt Marsh, Kris Holt, Jordan Grant, Rob Sadler Attendance - 355 Match report by Joseph Gibbons Photo by Ian Monk 

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