Report: Colls 1-2 Droylsden

Having won the competition - open to the Evo-Stik League Premier Division as well as the West and East divisions - at the first attempt last season, Atherton Collieries' defence of the Integro League Cup fell at the first hurdle as divisional rivals Droylsden overturned an early 1-0 deficit to run out 2-1 victors at the Skuna Stadium. Colls had gone in front as early as the second minute of this encounter, but Luke Daly's equaliser and a late strike from substitute Lewis Doyle secured a safe passage to the next round for the visitors, surviving a barrage of Colls attacks in the second half before Doyle claimed the winning goal against his former side. Attacking down the slope, Colls started in style and hit the front with a little over a minute on the clock, Jordan Cover turning James Sigsworth’s shot-turned-cross from the left hand side of the penalty area past Ryan Livesey in the Droylsden goal from six yards out. Olly Ford missed a gilt-edged opportunity for the visitors on 8 minutes, doing the hard work in winning the ball on the edge of the Colls box but pulled his shot wide of the target when presented with a clear view of goal. Cover was dealing Droylsden centre back Clive Smith with a torrid time, turning on the after burners on 28 minutes to leave Smith for dead but seeing his shot palmed wide by Livesey, with Smith being shown a yellow card a few minutes later for again failing to deal with Cover’s pace, this time opting to bring him down five yards outside the penalty area. Confusion reigned on 36 minutes, the referee awarding a penalty to Colls after Ben Hardcastle was brought down by Livesey. However, play was brought back for a Colls offside, albeit not far enough back to account for what seemed to be a clear foul on Cover in the lead up to the offside decision. With tempers starting to fray, Droylsden equalised on 41 minuted when Vinny Bailey was dispossessed on halfway by Luke Daly who raced clear on goal to slot past Colls goalkeeper Dale Latham, with the sides remaining level at the break. The second half saw Colls earn a remarkable number of corners but, in something of a rarity, enjoyed little success from their set pieces, with Livesey proving to be imperious when it came to claiming balls in to the area, featuring heavily as he kept out Josh Peet's rasping drive in the 62nd minute while doing well to avoid bringing down Ben Hardcastle when diving at his feet to knock the ball away for a corner. Hardcastle sent a 71st minute left footed strike arrowing narrowly wide of Livesey's left hand post, but that proved to be arguably Colls' final sniff of a goal as Doyle's strike on the counter attack, firing the ball in to Latham's bottom right hand corner, sealed progression for the visitors. Old rivalries are renewed when the black and whites are back in action this Saturday with former North West Counties League adversaries Runcorn Linnets the visitors to the Skuna Stadium for a 3pm kick off as the pair meet for the first ever time at Evo-Stik League Division One West level, before again bumping in to old friends with a Lancashire Challenge Trophy trip to Nelson the following Tuesday (25th September, 7.45pm) ahead of a quick return visit by the Linnets the following Saturday (29th September) for an FA Trophy tie. Atherton Collieries: Dale Latham, Callum Spooner, Glenn Matthews, Daniel Lambert, Danny Lafferty ©, Matt Grimshaw, Ben Hardcastle, Josh Peet, Jordan Cover, Vinny Bailey, James Sigsworth. Substitutes (not used): Dave Sherlock, Gareth Peet. Goals(s): Jordan Cover (2') Droylsden: Ryan Livesey, Shaquille Antoine-Clarke ©, Shaun Holden, Clive Smith, Dylan Smith, Michael Brewster, Luke Daly, Javan Vidal (Brandon Zibaka 55'), Sefton Gonzales, Olly Ford (Lewis Doyle 65'), Liam Caddick (Phil Marsh 79'). Substitutes (not used): Ben Barber, Faustin Makela Goals(s): Luke Daly (81'), Lewis Doyle (80') Man of the match: Jordan Cover Attendance: 181 Match report: Matt Lawton

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