Atherton Collieries made their FA Cup bow with a hard fought and impassioned performance against Ashton United, though clinicality made the difference for the experienced visitors. Lewis Mansell impressed in the early stages as the Black & Whites picked up their momentum from where Saturday's game finished. The first key chance came as Mansell dispossessed stopper Luke Simpson with a perfect tackle, though Simpson made immediate amends as he dived low to save the resulting shot from Nathan Caine.
However, Lewis Mansell didn't have long to wait to add to his growing assist tally, receiving a fantastic wide pass from Ben Rydel moments later, which he converted into a perfect low cross for Dylan Moonan to score at the far post.
Luke Simpson made another smart save minutes later following Jordan Scanlon making light work of the Ashton defence, a stop which provided the platform for the equaliser that soon followed.
Despite the blitz of Colls chances, it was the experience of the ruthless Jason Gilchrist for Ashton which ultimately taught the Stripes youngsters a lesson, being allowed ample space to head home a cross from Sean Newton.
Jason Gilchrist added his second of the game just before the half-time whistle. A late challenge to goalkeeper Jack Buckley saw the Colls stopper nullified from play having initially dealt with a cross into the box, and it was a simple task for the prolific forward to score Ashton's vital second.
The passion and effort of the Colls in the second half cannot be questioned, and although the hunt for an equaliser was ultimately to no avail, it certainly wasn't for a lack of trying from the young Stripes, spearheaded by a driving performance from Harvey Gregson in midfield.
Lewis Mansell was on the receiving end of possibly the most notable chance at the beginning of the half. An inch perfect through-ball was played from deep with the forward beating the offside trap, but quick reflexes from onrushing stopper Luke Simpson blocked the subsequent shot.
More chances came and went for the Colls, with a succession of many corners ultimately dealt with by the Ashton defence, who all also must be credited for their performances.
However, with the game entering it's dying embers and the Colls committing a full cohort to the attack, Ashton took advantage of the reduced Black & White defence to score the killer third, Kielen Adams played through by James Caton to knock the final nail into another FA Cup coffin for the Colls.
Chances continued after the goal, Jordan Scanlon and Dylan Moonan both tested Luke Simpson in quick succession, though the stopper was was cool & collected as he finished off what was a man of the match performance between the sticks. Next up, the Collieries travel to Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday for what is shaping up to be an important clash against another bottom half side. Seats for the club travel are still available, please contact the club or Dave Wyche for more information.The Colls: Jack Buckley, Ben Rydel, Josh Askew (67' Lewis Coulton), Dylan Moonan, Jordan Fagbola, Jordan Boon, Harvey Gregson, Sidi Fofana (77' Mwiya Malumo), Lewis Mansell (86' Rio Pemberton), Jordan Scanlon, Nathan Caine - Subs (Unused): Jack Evans, Josh Solomon-Davies, Nico Defreitas-Hansen Man of the Match: Harvey Gregson, sponsored by Momentum Mediation