Micheal Clegg's Atherton Collieries side continued their unbeaten pre-season run, adding a 1-0 Friday night victory over Surrey-based visitors Chipstead to Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers. Chipstead compete in the Bostik League South, finishing twentieth last season in what is the same level of the footballing pyramid as Colls' standing in Evo-Stik League Division One West, and they had a golden opportunity to go in front after only twelve minutes of this encounter, being awarded a penalty after a foul by Ian Rowlands, but the resultant spot kick hit Greg Hartley's post and the rebound was sliced wide.
Hartley was being kept busy in the Colls goal as the visitors made a bright start, twice being called upon in the first half hour to make a couple of smart saves before Colls started to make more of an impression on the game, Jordan Cover seeing an attempt denied by the legs of the goalkeeper before James Sigsworth smashed a strike against the crossbar from distance in what was turning out to be an entertaining encounter.
The two sides traded a couple of efforts early in the second half before Colls went in front on 68 minutes with what would turn out to be the only goal of the game, Tom Bentham's shot from the edge of the box finding the back of the net, albeit somewhat aided by a deflection to guide the ball past the goalkeeper.
Marcus Cusani had a couple of late chances to extend the Collieries advantage but found himself denied by the Chipstead goalkeeper, who also did well to keep out a Gareth Peet free kick, but the visitors failed to much further threat going forward and were unable to come up with an equaliser.
Colls play their first away game of pre-season this coming Tuesday (17th July) when they visit North West Counties League Premier Division side Charnock Richard for a 7.45pm kick off before welcoming Prestwich Heys to the Kensite Stadium on Saturday 21st July (3pm kick off). Atherton Collieries (all used): Greg Hartley, Chris Evans, Dave Sherlock, Gareth Peet, Danny Lafferty, Matt Grimshaw, Josh Messer, Ben Hardcastle, Danny Lambert, Adam Farrell, Luke Giverin, Conor Gaul, Marcus Cusani, Glenn Matthews, Ian Rowlands, Liam O'Neill, James Sigsworth, Ben Conway, Jordan Cover, Tom Bentham, Gary BurnettGoal(s): Tom Bentham (68')Chipstead (all used): Matt Males, Sam Shortfinga, Luke Elliot, Dylan Merchant, Alan Tait, Sam Bell, Dean Lodge, Saido Khan, Jake Robinson, Billy Carney, Dan Moody, Morgan Jenden, Nathan Ayling, Joe Jackson, Liam Coates, Rob Kember Match Report: Matt Lawton
Photograph: David Featherstone