Report: Hallam 1-4 Colls

It was almost seven years to the day that the black n white stripes last visited Sandygate (the oldest football ground in the world) for a FA Cup tie. In 2010 Colls were the underdogs being a level below the hosts but this time out Hallam are plying their trade in Step 6 while Michael Clegg's team are getting acquainted with life at Step 4. Colls won the previous meeting 3-2 on a warm Sunday afternoon with goals from Paul Atherton, Andy Walker and Phil Williams.  Michael Clegg made a few changes from Monday night's goalless draw at home to Kendal. It was a case of shuffling the team around with Iain Howard making the bench, allowing Brad Cooke to return to his natural midfield position. This in turn saw Jordan Grant come in to the starting lineup at right back with fellow defender Gareth Peet playing the match up front with Jordan Cover and Darrhyl Mason. Danny Lambert took Peet's position at left back. There had been stories of how Bootle had struggled to adapt to an unfamiliar playing surface in the previous round, ultimately losing 3-0 on the day. Passing the ball around in the midfield areas proved problematic as the home side pressured immediately and when they didn't, the ball simply zipped up off an unpredictable terrain. Hallam started the game well going up the slope towards The Plough pub. Danny Lafferty was forced to head off the line inside the opening 60 seconds. Fortunately this seemed to focus Colls minds and Jordan Cover forced a good save  out of Hallam shot stopper Josh Diggles.  Diggles, however, was picking the ball out of his net on nine minutes following a direct passage of play from the Collieries. Brad Cooke won a midfield scrap and set Jordan Cover on his way, outpacing his marker before slotting calmly home under the goalkeepers torso. Colls dominated the opening half hour and Diggles kept his team in the game with a string of fine reflex saves. On 35 minutes and out of nowhere Hallam equalised.  The goal was well crafted and their well built forward headed in a pinpoint centre under no defensive pressure whatsoever. This gave the Countrymen confidence and it was Colls who were glad to hear the half time whistle. The Evo-Stik side were back on their game in the second period following a predictable half time tongue lashing from Clegg and Co. but Hallam were also on their mettle and both teams sniffed FA Cup glory. Then Cover stepped up to plate. With fifteen minutes left on the clock the striker chased a good ball out of defence and again he caressed the ball past the oncoming Diggles. The goalkeeper did get fingertips on this effort but it wasn't enough to stop it flying past him into the bottom right hand corner. A further goal came on 84 minutes when Cover flicked in a teasing Jamie Forbes cross for his hat-trick. Colls were by now controlling the tempo with both Josh Messer and Brad Cooke excellent in the middle of the park. There was still time to put a bit of padding on the scoreline. A penalty was awarded after Gareth Peet was brought down in the box. Cover's quest for a four bagger and a place in the record books was thwarted by Diggles and who also saved substitute Dom Butler's follow up effort. Peet was in the right place to tap in the second rebound.  It was a nice win in the Emirates FA Cup where a cup upset could have been on the cards. Despite losing their way a touch late in the first half the victory was thoroughly deserved although the final scoreline was a little harsh on Hallam.  Having said that Josh Diggles in the Hallam goal had a game to be proud as this report suggests. Jordan Cover was on fire and scored the first FA Cup hat-trick for the club since Graham Dodd managed one in a 4-0 win at Horden Colliery Welfare in August 1996.  The draw took place the following afternoon and Atherton Collieries will travel to old foes Cleethorpes Town in a real ding-donger of an FA Cup tie. The two of course clashed in the FA Vase last 16 last campaign with the Grimsby based side coming out 3-2 victors before marching on to play at Wembley. The memories still hurt and Michael Clegg's troops will undoubtedly put their all into this one. Hallam FC - Josh Diggles, Billy Wright, Alex Brown, Sam Fowkes, Tom Cropper, Tom Cropper, Charlie Myers, James Reed (C), Chris Wood, Andrew Fox, Ashley Cooper - Substitutes: Josh Gibson, Elliot Simpson, Josh Binds, Ryan Lee, Matthew Morton, David Darwent Atherton Collieries - Adam Reid, Jordan Grant, Danny Lambert, Josh Messer, Danny Lafferty, Jamie Forbes, Ben Hardcastle, Brad Cooke, Jordan Cover, Darrhyl Mason, Gareth Peet - Substitutes: Matt Grimshaw, Iain Howard, Nathan Battersby, Dom Butler, Rob Sadler Attendance - 302 Man of the Match - Josh Messer Match report by Emil Anderson Photo by David Featherstone

Vacancy: Kit Man/Woman

Atherton Collieries are currently looking for someone to fill the position of First Team Kit Man or Woman ahead of the 2024/25 Northern Premier League

Read More