Atherton Collieries battled to a 1-0 home defeat to Gainsborough Trinity, a first-half goal from Isaac Rice making the difference in a low-key affair at the Skuna Stadium.
The game got off to a laboured start under the floodlights at the Skuna, with neither side able to conjure up much real quality within the opening twenty minutes. The first glimpse of action came courtesy of Ethan Kershaw, the midfielder’s volley from the edge of the area prompting a straightforward save from Matt Yates in the Trinity goal.
Minutes later came Colls best chance of the half, this time with Yates at full stretch to deny them. Jack Lenehan’s sweeping delivery found the head of Marcus Cusani, the keeper showing lighting quick reactions to push it over the bar. The visitors first sight of goal came on 25 minutes, some dangerous play on the edge of the Colls area resulting in a strike dragged harmlessly wide of Danny Taberner’s goal.
The breakthrough would come on the half hour mark, a corner delivered in from the left not properly cleared by the Colls defence, with Isaac Rice poking the ball past Danny Taberner in between the sticks for Colls.
With the black and whites chasing the game, Zack Clarke and Elliott Rokka took to the field in an effort to draw the home side level. A free kick delivered by Jack Lenehan shortly after half time glanced just wide via the head of Luca-Defreitas Hansen.
Both substitutes would go on to warm the hands of the keeper, Rokka with an in-swinging free kick taken from 25 yards out and Clarke with a low, driven effort from distance, both proving simple work for Yates in the Trinity goal. With minutes left, Jack Lenehan hit a dropping ball from the edge of the area, a slight deflection seeing it whistle narrowly over the crossbar. Danny Taberner came up for the resulting corner however it was to no avail wit the visitors managig to clear.
Colls: Danny Taberner, Sky Sinclair (55' Zack Clarke), Gaz Peet, Niall Battersby (77' Anton Smith), Clive Smith, Luca Defreitas-Hansen, Ethan Kershaw (55' Elliot Rokka), Scott Sephton, Marcus Cusani, Jack Lenehan & Aaron Smith
Subs: Oli Fannon & Danny Lambert
Bolton Man of the Match : Luca Defreitas-Hansen, sponsored by My Cross to Bar
Photo: Dave Featherstone
Report: Danny Brown