Report: Colls 3-1 Lancaster City

The Collieries bounced back to winning ways on Bank Holiday Monday. Cooke’s lads secured three points in a convincing 3-1 victory over Lancaster City at the Skuna Stadium. Lancaster had the better of the opening chances of the game. Just two minutes had been played when the ball fell to City’s Paul Dawson in the Colls area. The midfielder snatched at the chance to take the lead for the Blues however, the ball sailed over the bar. Dawson was central to the action again on 12 minutes, a curled effort from the edge of the area forced Luke Hutchinson into a fine save with the Goalkeeper turning the ball around for a corner. Hutchinson has impressed since joining on loan from Bolton Wanderers, the shot-stopper was central to the action again on 22 minutes. An inswinging City corner was met by the head of, you’ve guessed it, Dawson. Hutchinson produced a fine reaction save to keep Lancaster at bay. Ethan Kershaw and Danny Lambert have developed a strong partnership in the centre of midfield. On 27 minutes the former was central to the action as he latched onto a fine Matty Gillam cross. Gillam, making his full debut in the infamous Black and White stripes, worked incredibly hard down the left wing and sailed a ball across to the back post. Kershaw latched onto it, but headed the ball just over the bar. Joel Amado saved the day for Atherton on 32 minutes. Chaos in the Colls area saw the ball fall to David Norris just left of the goal. Hutchinson charged off his line to narrow the Lancaster forward’s angles, but Norris managed to poke past the stopper. No fear, Amado covered the line dutifully and cleared the ball with confidence. Unfortunately, a competitive clash between Hutchinson and Lancaster’s Ben Hudson meant that the ‘keeper’s afternoon was soon to be over. Both players had the ball in their sights, Hutchinson the winner. It was to be too late, though, as Hudson met Hutchinson in the air and both lads fell to the floor. Following an on-field examination, both players were sent to Hospital – Danny Taberner coming on to replace the injured stopper. The Club are pleased to announce that scans have since come back clear and this was an initial impact injury, Hutchinson was sent home with painkillers. After a lengthy pause, the Collieries lost their focus and found themselves behind minutes after the restart. The ball broke to Lancaster’s Sam Fishburn, the forward simply slotted home yards from goal to give City the lead. Cooke’s lads showed great spirit and determination to get their equaliser just minutes later. Ethan Kershaw worked hard to win the ball back 30 yards from goal, the midfielder looked up, set himself and released a swooped shot at goal that dipped underneath the crossbar and into the back of the net. A superb finish from Kershaw in what was his first goal for Atherton, well deserved too. The Collieries came out in the second half and took control of the game from the first kick. Marcus Cusani came close on 52 minutes as Gillam threaded the ball through to the forward. Cusani was about to unleash a curled effort were it not for a last-ditch Lancaster City challenge. Minutes later, hard work from Lambert saw the midfielder bring a Blues attack to a halt. Lambert found Cusani brilliantly with a forward ball, but Lancaster were only willing to concede the corner kick. On 79 minutes, hard work from Gaz Peet saw the wing-back win a penalty for the Colls. Peet’s bamboozling forward play frustrated the Lancaster defense and the referee pointed to the spot following a foul in the area. Step up Gillam. Calm and composed, the new-signing dispatched the penalty. Colls in the lead and deservedly so. Cooke’s lads made it three on 88 minutes. A great kick from Taberner found Gillam on the right-wing. With a goal already to his name, Gillam crossed the ball to find the head of Cusani. A dipped header from the forward evaded Lancaster’s Matty Alexander and sailed into the back of the net. The full-time whistle brought the game to a close. A great three points for the Black and White stripes who reacted to Hutchinson’s injury and going a goal behind with real professionalism. A solid second-half showing pushed the Colls to victory – defensively strong, Gillam influential on the wing, Cusani causing problems up front, but the final word to Lambert who dictated play in the centre of the pitch. Collieries: Hutchinson, Smith, Peet, Battersby, Lafferty ©, Amado, Kershaw, Lambert, Gillam, Lenehan, Cusani. Substitutes: Taberner (42’), Sephton (49’), Doyle (60’) Unused substitutes: Glass, Rokka Bolton Arena Man of the Match: Danny Lambert Report – Zach Pierce Photo – David Featherstone

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