Report: Colls 2-4 Warrington Town

On their debut home outing in the highest echelon of the Northern Premier League, Colls suffered something of a rude awakening with the concession of three first half goals against last season’s play-off victors Warrington, but put up a hell of a fight after the break. The eventual scoreline didn’t quite tell the full story, however, with Colls enjoying a significant amount of chances and possession but lacking the killer touch of their opposition. Oliver Roberts flew an 8th minute 30 yarder over the bar before Colls went close in a matter of seconds on 20 minutes, Dave Sherlock cracking a strike against the woodwork from 25 yards, with the rebound being curled agonisingly wide of the far post by Brad Lynch. The visitors went in front on 27 minutes from the penalty spot, Jack Mackreth sending the ball low to Theo Roberts’ right hand side after Clive Smith clipped Alex Byrne in the box. It took only three minutes for Warrington to double their lead, Tony Gray heading in Byrne’s cross from the right. Daniel Lafferty had a gilt-edged opportunity to pull a goal back on 36 minutes, left unmarked in front of goal but heading Roberts’ free kick over the bar after Gareth Peet had been brought down on the left hand side of the box. Such wastefulness was punished a minute before the break as Warrington scored a third, Louis Barnes thumping a strike in to the top corner. The second half looked to be following a similar scoring pattern as Matthew Chadwick headed in a fourth Warrington goal on the hour with the visitors having earlier been denied by Theo Roberts’ smart double save. All hope wasn’t quite lost though as the rain tumbled down as Colls pulled back two goals in quick succession, Lafferty heading home a Hardcastle cross on 64 minutes, three minutes before Peet confidently dispatched the second penalty of the game after Hardcastle was brought down in the box. Sherlock remarkably struck the woodwork for a second time on 80 minutes, this time hitting the post with another rasping effort from distance. Warrington were close to ending the Colls comeback on 82 minutes, Josh Amis beating Roberts to a loose back pass and looking to roll it in to the empty net but failing to account for the retreating Lafferty who stopped the ball a yard short of the line. Colls continued to press in search of a third goal but it wasn’t to be as they head in to FA Cup action at the weekend with Runcorn Linnets visiting the Skuna Stadium on Saturday (24th August) for a 3pm kick off. Atherton Collieries: Theo Roberts, Clive Smith, Gareth Peet, Dave Sherlock,, Ian Rowlands, Daniel Lafferty ©, Ben Conway (Jordan Cover 54’), Vinny Bailey, Ben Hardcastle, Oliver Roberts (Jack Egan 54’), Brad Lynch (Niall Battersby 73’). Substitutes (not used): Matt Grimshaw, Kieran Nolan. Goals: Daniel Lafferty (64'), Gareth Peet (penalty 67') Rama Spice Man of the Match: Dave Sherlock Attendance: 645 Match report: Matt Lawton Photograph: David Featherstone

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