Report: Colls 2-4 Padiham

Having remained unbeaten on a remarkable run of sixteen games since mid-September, Michael Clegg’s Colls side fell to defeat in the quarter finals of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy as league rivals Padiham ran out Alder House victors for the second time this season. In a competition that has been played since 1885, Colls came agonisingly close to reaching the final last season, losing out to higher league opposition in the shape of Clitheroe in a semi final at Leyland’s County Ground, and were hoping to match that achievement with victory in this encounter. With the prospect of Saturday’s trip to Newton Aycliffe in the FA Vase Second Round on the horizon, Clegg took the chance to rotate his squad, with the likes of Danny Taberner, Jake Kenny, Mark Ayres, Brad Cooke, Josh Messer and Mark Truffas all rested, while Ben Hardcastle and Jordan Cover had to be content with starting the game on the substitutes bench. After an opening half hour of little action of note, Colls went in front when a Mike Donlan goal kick was quickly returned in to the path of Mark Battersby, who hared clear through on goal and came up with a delightful dink over Donlan for another addition to his prolific goalscoring record. The hosts looked to be heading for the break with a goal advantage, but were pegged back just two minutes before the interval when Padiham front man Daley Woods was bundled over in the penalty area, dusting himself off to level the scores with the resultant spot kick. Woods was again the centre of attention on fifty eight minutes when he put the visitors a goal in front with a terrific strike from the edge of the penalty area that flew in to the top left hand corner of Steve Dryden’s net. Seventy minutes in to the game and the scores were levelled once again as the ball bobbled around the Padiham penalty area as they struggled to clear a corner kick, with substitute Jordan Cover eventually managing to nudge the ball on to Jacob Jones who perfectly placed a left foot shot in to the top corner. The joy of the equaliser was particularly short lived though as Padiham took the lead again just two minutes later when Chris Turner took advantage of a particularly strong breeze that took hold of his corner kick and sent it directly in to the goal with Dryden stranded, before the visitors sealed victory eight minutes from the end via another Turner corner, this time sending it to the near post for right back David Hankin to thump a header past Dryden. Although this defeat ends Colls’ interest in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy for this season, the cup trail continues over the next week, with a trip to Newton Aycliffe on Saturday (12th December, 3pm) in the FA Vase Second Round being followed, subject to FA Vase replays, with a trip to AFC Darwen in the third round of the The Men United Cup next Wednesday (16th December, 7.45pm). Atherton Collieries; Steve Dryden, Keith Wedge, Nathan Battersby, Jimmy Moore, Matt Grimshaw (Jordan Cover), Callum Jones, Jacob Jones, Kristian Holt (Domonic Butler), Mark Battersby, Dave Sherlock, Gareth Peet (Ben Harcastle). Substitutes (not used); Lewis Coleman Attendance: 115   Match report by Matt Lawton

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