Report: Colls 1-1 Bamber Bridge

Bamber Bridge visited The Kensite Stadium on a dank Monday evening for the first league meeting between the teams for a quarter of a century. During that time the Preston side had won Northern Premier League titles, reached the 2nd Round of the FA Cup and even played a game against the Czech Republic's Euro 96 finalists. Colls had been NWCFL Steady Eddie's.  Like in many match up's this season long forgotten acquaintances will be renewed.  The game had been in doubt early doors due to the persistent and heavy rain but the ground team had worked wonders and the playing surface looked as resplendent as it possibly could following the battering for the third game on it in three days. Jamie Forbes, Ben Hardcastle, Darrhyl Mason, Josh Messer, Jordan Cover and the free from suspension Brad Cooke returned to the starting line up replacing Messrs Grimshaw, West, Gorman, Holt, Lambert and Woods. Squad rotation is key at this level. Brig started the game in sixth place while the black n white stripes were placed thirteenth. Following successive league defeats Michael Clegg needed a postitive reaction from his team and they certainly did him proud The game started at a right good tempo with play end to end. The visitors had the first clearcut opportunity on 10 minutes. A pinpoint crossed found his man yards out but Adam Reid somehow kept the prodded finish out of the net. Brig were having the best of things and must have sensed blood on 25 minutes.  Josh Messer went in wholeheartedly in a challenge and the ref pulled out the dreaded red card at champion pistol drawing pace. Advantage the men in red and they took the lead 10 minutes. Reid was forced to tip a 25 yard pile driver majestically over the bar. From the corner he was expertly 'kettled 'by a few attackers in the six yard area and was unable to get back in position to stop Danny Forbes' crisp shot from beyond the farpost.  Danny Lafferty had a back header from a set piece smartly pushed aside by Brig custodian Lloyd Rigby. Rigby was then happy to see a venomous Ben Hardcastle shot from distance cannon off the crossbar and to safety as Colls ended the half sprightly. Colls recommended proceedings in the ascendancy but had to be wary that they were a man shy. Both teams had good moments before the Colls equaliser with 20 minutes remaining.  Good pressing aligned to little bit of overplaying in defence saw Hardcastle free on goal and Rigby was given no chance with the rasping shot which nestled in the left hand corner of the net. The goal lifted the imaginary roof on an increasingly damp Kensite Stadium.  Colls were playing out of the skins, belying their one man numerical disadvantage and Ash Woods had a goalbound corkscrew header pushed aside. Brig were still well up for the game and wanted to take all the spoils back to West Lancashire. Seemingly in slow motion a ball was cleared off the line with Reid beaten and the away fans already celebrating. Iain Howard then almost snatched it for Colls. Referee Croft finally blew the final whistle of this pulsating clash after half a dozen minutes of injury time. The teams left the field together to tumultuous applause from supporters of both sides and the decent smattering of neutrals in attendance. Brig will maybe think they should have taken all three points but came up against a strong rearguard and an inspired shotstopper. Colls dug in after the sending off and put in a shift to be proud as well as playing some quality footy. Was it a sending off? Josh thought he was unlucky and there wasn't the usual rabble rousing following the challenge from the opposition. However the referee's word is law! Again plaudits to the ground team who got the game on when the situation looked desperate just after midday. Your effort was much appreciated.  Atherton Collieries: Adam Reid, Chris Lynch, Gareth Peet, Josh Messer, Jamie Forbes, Danny Lafferty, Ben Hardcastle, Brad Cooke (C), Jordan Cover (Ash Woods 62'), Darrhyl Mason - Substitutes: Matt Grimshaw, Johnny Gorman, George West, Jordan Grant Bamber Bridge: Lloyd Rigby; Sam Staunton-Turner, Chris Marlow, Matt Lawlor (c), Macauley Wilson, Michael Potts (Jamie Milligan 73), Alistair Waddecar, Danny Forbes (Oscar O'Neill 61), Brad Carsley, Regan Linney (Matthew Dudley 80), Daniel Mooney - Substitutes: Stuart Vasey, Jamie Milligan, Jamie Boyd, Oscar O'Neill, Matthew Dudley Attendance - 253 Man of the Match - Jamie Forbes   Match report by Emil Anderson Photography by David Featherstone

Squad Update: 06/06/2024

Atherton Collieries would like to wish the best of luck to midfielders Nathan Caine and Ben Rydel, who have today departed the Skuna Stadium to

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