Colls got the gift that they wanted this Christmas courtesy of a 1-0 victory over locals Radcliffe.Gaz Peet’s first-half strike was enough to seal a festive win for Brad Cooke’s men, earning three points in the process which pushed them to 10th in the Northern Premier League, Premier Division table.Both sides wore their away kits at the Skuna stadium in support of the ‘Shelter’ charity and its’ ‘No Home Kit’ campaign which is a powerful act of support and solidarity for those without a home. The link to donate to the charity and this campaign can be found at the bottom of this report. In front of a bumper crowd, Colls started the quicker and were in the ascendancy in the opening stages, enjoying most of the ball and putting the visitors on the back foot, though struggled to create any clear-cut chances.
Marcus Cusani beat his man down the right-wing and drove into the box but lost his footing as he prepared to pull the trigger, while Zack Clarke proved to be a handful for the ‘Boro backline.
After Radcliffe headed wide from close range with a rare mixup in the Colls’ defence, Cooke’s men did take the lead and it came through Peet.
The fullback drove into the area and when his initial goalbound effort was headed away, Peet re-gathered to set himself up for a second bite of the cherry, this one successful.
His powerful strike evaded Radcliffe goalkeeper Cameron Belford and had the Colls ahead at the interval, with teammate Cusani firing just wide prior to the referee’s whistle.
Cusani went close again after the restart, forcing Belford into a smart stop this time around with Cooke’s side pushing to double their advantage with early second half pressure.
Inevitably though, the visitors did work their way into the game and brought Colls’ ‘keeper Luke Hutchinson into action for the first time with 70 minutes on the clock.
When called upon, the Bolton Wanderers loanee reacted excellently to deny Boro’s Luca Navarro in a one-on-one as the ball broke to the forward inside the six-yard box.
At the other end, Ethan Kershaw then tried his luck from distance as Belford was forced into another save. Striker Clarke also went close for the Black and Whites before some heroic defending denied the visitors amidst a goalmouth scramble in the closing stages.
Seven and a half minutes of added time later, the referee’s whistle sounded, with the Colls having a deserved three points in their possession courtesy of Peet’s first-half goal. Colls: Luke Hutchinson, Clive Smith, Gaz Peet, Joel Amado, Danny Lafferty (C), Luca Defreitas-Hansen, Ethan Kershaw (Aaron Smith 84’), Scott Sephton, Zack Clarke (Matty Gillam 90+5’), Jack Lenehan, Marcus Cusani (Rowan Roache 78’) Attendance: 751 Bolton Arena Man of the Match: Gaz Peet ‘Shelter’ Donation Link:https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/NoHomeKitFull Photo Gallery:Match Report: Ben Olawumi Photo: David Featherstone