Report: Lancaster City 4-2 Colls

Colls' continued their preparations for the new season with a keenly-fought friendly defeat away to last season's Evo-Stik League First Division North champions, Lancaster City, in what was a good indication of the level of opposition that Micheal Clegg's side will be coming up against in their debut season at that level. In what was undoubtedly a worthwhile exercise ahead of the season opener away to Colne in eleven days time, Colls acquitted themselves in the early exchanges against their higher division opponents, and it wasn't until the 28th minute mark that the home side went in front when Ryan Winder's shot was deflected in to the path of Oliver Wood who was left with the simple task of tapping in to an open goal from a couple of yards out. That lead was doubled only three minutes later when Paul Dugdale's driven effort took a wicked deflection that looped the ball over the helpless Adam Reid and in to the net. That two goal lead remained until the break, but it took only two minutes after the restart for Colls to halve the deficit when substitute Henoc Mukendi flicked on Iain Howard's corner at the near post for fellow half-time replacement Mark Truffas to ghost in at the back post for a rare headed goal. It took only six minutes for Lancaster to restore their two goal advantage, however, when centre back Danny Lafferty was unfortunate to divert an Andy Howarth cross past Reid and in to his own goal, only seconds after he'd made a lung-busting foray in to attacking territory as Colls hunted for an equaliser. Lafferty didn't have to wait long to redeem himself - eight minutes, in fact - as he pulled the score back to 3-2 on sixty one minutes when again Colls found success from a right wing corner, with again Mukendi doing well to flick the ball on at the near post for Lafferty to smash the ball past Chris Cheetham, a former Atherton LR goalkeeper, from close range. Having been comparable in intensity to a league game for well over an hour, both sides began to make a number of substitutions as the game wore on, with Lancaster completing the scoring with eight minutes remaining when Louis Mayers played in Hannu Tam. It seemed as though Reid had done enough to stop Tam from rounding him, but the Lancaster man prevailed at the last second to take the ball around the Colls goalkeeper and finish in to the empty net. Although the final result would have been an obvious disappointment to Clegg and his staff, it was an evening well spent with a lot of lessons to be learned as the black and whites look ahead to the official start of their highest ever league participation. Atherton Collieries; Adam Reid, Brad Cooke (James Brookes 78'), Gareth Peet, Josh Messer (Matty Marsh 66'), Jamie Forbes (Matt Grimshaw 83'), Danny Lafferty, Ben Hardcastle, Vinny Bailey (Henoc Mukendi 46'), Jordan Cover (Mark Truffas 46'), Iain Howard, Darrhyl Mason Match report - Matt Lawton Photo by David Featherstone

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