Report: Colls 2-0 Scarborough Athletic

A goal in each half from Glenn Matthews and Dave Sherlock saw Atherton Collieries coast past high-flying Scarborough Athletic at the Kensite Stadium and secure a home tie against Ramsbottom United in the quarter finals of the Integro League Cup. Against a Scarborough side riding high in the league, Colls never really looked in any danger of a cup exit once Matthews delivered a peach of a goal on 37 minutes, with progress sealed on 59 minutes when Dave Sherlock scored his first goal since returning to the Kensite Stadium. The game was preceded by a poignant minute’s applause in memory of ‘Big’ Billy Fearick, a well known figure on the Alder House terraces and beyond, whose presence will be sadly missed by all at the club and in the community. Having been defeated 1-0 in an Evo-Stik League Division One North fixture at Ramsbottom United on Tuesday evening, Colls boss Micheal Clegg shuffled his pack in an effort to keep his charges fresh for the intensive schedule to come, with Greg Hartley returning in goal after Dale Latham had debuted between the sticks on Tuesday, while Josh Messer, Ben Hardcastle and Iain Howard all came back in to the side, with Liam O’Neill finally making his Colls debut on the left hand side of midfield after a lengthy wait for international clearance following his transfer from Welsh side Airbus UK. Clegg’s initial tactical plans were quickly upset, however, when Messer pulled up with an injury after barely 15 minutes of action, forcing the early introduction of Danny Lambert from the substitutes’ bench, with the visitors having to make a similar substitution not long afterwards as James Cadman limped off to be replaced by Bailey Gooda, prompting something of a reorganisation in the visiting ranks. It was the visitors who had the first serious attempt on goal shortly after the half hour mark when James Beadle was able to find some space in the Colls penalty area and get his shot away, only to be denied by a smart Hartley save, palming the ball away for a corner. With that scare avoided, Colls went in front only four minutes later as Glenn Matthews – showing his versatility in playing at left back against his former club – displayed some neat feet to delicately cut the ball back inside off his right foot, avoiding a couple of challenges in one move, before cracking a left-footed strike from the edge of the box that flew in to Tom Morgan’s top corner. Ben Hardcastle had a glimpse of goal early in the second half as he flashed a left-footed strike in to Morgan’s side netting, before Sherlock doubled the Colls advantage just before the hour mark. Liam O’Neill, impressive on his debut in black and white, saw his initial shot blocked by a visiting defender but managed collect the rebound and, with goalkeeper Morgan left stranded in no man’s land just outside of the six yard box, delivered the ball to the back post to leave Sherlock with the simple task of nodding home. In what has been something of a recurring theme in recent weeks, Colls handed a second ‘debut’ to Gary Burnett with eleven minutes remaining, the former Colwyn Bay and Shaw Lane front man replacing Iain Howard to make his long awaited return to the Alder House having originally departed for Skelmersdale United in 2012. The latter stages saw the heavens open as Hardcastle saw a shot drift narrowly wide of the target before the hosts were able to celebrate cup progress which brings a home quarter final against Ramsbottom United at the Kensite Stadium next Thursday (29th March, 7.45pm kick off). Before then, Scarborough Athletic have an immediate chance to make amends for this evening’s defeat as they return to downtown Athy this Saturday (24th March) for a 3pm kick off as they look to close a four point gap behind leaders Hyde United before Colls continue their hectic schedule, travelling north to face Kendal Town on Tuesday evening (27th March, 7.45pm). Atherton Collieries: Greg Hartley, Jake Kenny, Glenn Matthews, Josh Messer (Daniel Lambert ‘15), Chris Lynch, Danny Lafferty ©, Ben Hardcastle, Dave Sherlock, Adam Farrell, Iain Howard (Gary Burnett ‘79), Liam O’Neill (Gareth Peet ‘72) Substitutes (not used); Matt Grimshaw, Jordan Cover Goals: Glenn Matthews (37'), David Sherlock (59') Scarborough Athletic: Tom Morgan, Nathan Valentine (Benjamin Jackson 69’), Sam Muddleton, Lewis Sugden, Josh Snowden, Jamie Price ©, Jorome Slew, Tom White, James Beadle, Chris Dawson, James Cadman (Bailey Gooda ‘25, Sam Hewitt ‘60). Substitutes (not used); Thomas Taylor, Josh Wallace Attendance: 141 Match Report: Matt Lawton Photograph: Rob Clarke

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