The 340 in attendance on Saturday afternoon were treated to an entertaining 90 minutes of football as Atherton Collieries took on Warrington Rylands at the Skuna Stadium.
David Chadwick’s lads came into this game buoyed after picking up their first three points of the season in a 2-0 win against Bradford Park Avenue. Likewise, Warrington had a spring in their step following an opening day disaster – a 2-0 win away at Stafford Rangers putting a smile on former Manager Michael Clegg’s face.
The predicted rain held off and the Atherton sun shone down on the black and white stripes. Weather soon matched mood as the black and whites took the lead on 23 minutes. Forward Lewis Mansell joined the Collieries over the summer, he curled an effort squared to him into the back of the net to register his first goal wearing the infamous Colls jersey.
It was so nearly two ten minutes later. Jordan Scanlon was through on goal with Mansell to the left of him. Scanlon, young and energetic, opted to have a pop at goal himself and was denied by a smart Luke Piling save.
Colls were made to rue their missed chances on 42 minutes. James Baillie received the ball on the left wing, cut inside and drilled a smart effort into the bottom corner of the goal.
The second period of the game was just as thrilling as the first. Chances came and went for both sides. Scanlon again had a chance to make it two for the Colls, his effort was high when one on one with Pilling. Rylands, on the other hand, were frustrated as shot after shot was met by the hands of Nico Defreitas-Hansen. The American stopper was resolved in his efforts in keeping Cleggy’s blues from taking the three.
At the end of the 90 both sets of fans could breathe a sigh of relief. It could have been, and almost was, anyone's game. In his post-match interview Manager David Chadwick highlighted his team’s tenacity throughout the game. This is a squad Chadwick and co have assembled from nothing remember, only playing their third competitive game of football together this weekend just gone. Tuesday night will be their fourth, the black and white stripes make the journey down to Matlock Town for what is sure to be another thrilling encounter.
The Colls: Nico Defreitas-Hansen, Jack Evans, Josh Askew, Harvey Gregson, Jordan Fagbola (C), Jordan Boon, Ben Rydel (77’ Rio Pemberton), Sidi Fofana (68’ Mwiya Malumo), Lewis Mansell (68’ Dylan Moonan), Jordan Scanlon and Nathan Caine – Unused subs: Adam Rooney and Josh Solomon-Davies.
Man of the Match – Sponsored by the Colls Gals: Jack Evans, available to sponsor.
Match Report: Zach Pierce
Photo: David Featherstone