Neither Atherton Collieries or Marine managed to progress in the FA Cup, despite a lively contest at the Skuna Stadium. Just before kick-off, the 517 in attendance celebrated the life of friend, supporter and club Treasurer Paul Humphreys with a minutes applause. Paul had been a presence at the Colls since 2006 – he was a warm, welcoming, kind man. As Treasurer, he was integral to the smooth running of the Club and was loved by all – supporters, players past, players present and all of the committee. Paul’s close family – Jean, Jessica, Callum and Matthew – were warmly welcomed to the Skuna Stadium ahead of the game and lay a wreath in memory of Paul in the centre circle.
With Colls aiming to reach the fourth qualifying round for the first time in their history and Marine looking to repeat their cup heroics of last year, a stalemate means the tie will now be decided by a replay.
Both sides went close in the first half, the hosts’ Ben Conway curling just over the bar and Marine’s Danny Shaw’s header cleared off the line by Colls’ skipper Danny Lafferty.
In the second 45 both sides pushed for a decisive goal but to no avail, a stunning double save from Marine’s Bayleigh Passant keeping Atherton at bay on the hour mark.
Colls Matty Gillam then should have given his side the lead, but with the keeper beaten the striker could only nod his header wide.
With the game headed for a replay, Marine looked to break late on with the threatening Neil Kengi playing through Kyle Hayde. However, Danny Taberner’s last gasp save kept the game goalless, meaning a replay will be on Tuesday in Merseyside.
Bolton Arena Man of the Match – Danny Lafferty
Report – Danny Brown
Photo – David Featherston