Report: Litherland REMYCA 1-3 Colls

Credit has to be given to Litherland REMYCA who have worked hard both on and off the field since their step up to the NWCFL. Phil Stafford has assembled a competitive side since his arrival at the club and there appears to be a real sense of ambition behind the scenes. Having only suffered one defeat at their spacious Sports Park this season, hopes of an upset against promotion chasing Colls were high but a dogged display from Atherton gained them another three points. Collieries arrived in Merseyside with the notable absences of top goalscorer Mark Battersby, captain Brad Cooke and manager Michael Clegg while James Brooks failed a late fitness test. Warren Jones and Scott Campbell took charge of first team affairs for the afternoon and they rallied their troops against a determined Litherland outfit. Many of Collieries early passing exchanges were disrupted by a concoction of persistent pressure from the opposition and a series of unfortunate bobbles on a flat but bobbly playing surface; typical of most pitches at this stage of the season. It was no surprise that the first effort of the game came from a set piece. Mark Truffas floated the ball to the back post from a corner kick where striker Jordan Cover powered his header towards goal. Sean Lake – who had a very good match – prevented the ball from travelling over the line as he got two strong hands behind it. The home side settled better as Collieries continued to look disjointed and unsettled. Gareth Carson played a pivotal role in rallying and motivating his fellow defenders as the home side pressed forward. A long ball was knocked over the top to Cover on 16 minutes but he couldn’t quite get ahead of the defender. Claims for a free kick were turned down by a referee who did well considering the eventful and action packed match which was about to unfold. The deadlock was broken by the home side on 26 minutes with a fantastic solo effort from Louis Austin. While the Collieries defending was poor for the goal, nothing should be taken away from Austin who twisted and turned his way down the line and into the area before firing into the bottom right hand corner. After falling behind the visitors began to play some fluid football but often found a Litherland player getting a foot in the way of the final ball. On 28 minutes Jordan Cover found himself through one-on-one with goalkeeper Sean Lake who grasped the ball at the strikers feet just before he was about to finish. Five minutes later and Cover was through again after the ball had ricocheted past two defenders following a Kristian Holt challenge. This time Cover was allowed space and time to pick his spot but once again Lake was able to get a part of his body to the ball. On 38 minutes Collieries got the goal which they deserved after a spell of pressure in Litherland’s defensive third. A scramble in the area led to Jordan Cover being scythed down; a penalty was the outcome. Mark Ayres stepped up and hit the ball into the left hand corner past Sean Lake. A minute later and Colls were on the attack again. Good link up play between Gareth Peet and Kristian Holt saw the ball fed out to the wide right for Ben Hardcastle. Having had a couple of wayward shots the winger may have opted to cross this time around, but another speculative effort was volleyed towards goal and it nearly crept past Sean Lake at the far post. From this attack the home side hit Colls on the counter. Louis Austin – who was Litherland’s stand out performer – found himself through on goal and looked to have edged his side back in front but his effort hit the left hand post. A minute later and Phil Stafford’s side were on the attack again. Left back Rob Swanton kept up with Austin and managed to do enough to prevent a shot, but the ball only fell as far as REMYCA striker Josh Wright. From the middle of the area he fired a strong shot but Danny Taberner spread himself in a Schmeichel-esque manner to keep the ball out. The final effort of the half saw Collieries take the lead through a trademark Mark Truffas free kick. From the edge of the area Truffas curled the ball into the bottom right hand corner past Sean Lake who proceeded to unwrap his gloves and arguments ensued amongst team mates. Half time arrived and it allowed both teams time to regroup. Collieries closed the half the better of the two sides, but knew they were lucky to be going in with a narrow advantage. The tight nature of the match made for many challenges in midfield. This eventually led to the rather soft dismissal of stand in captain Kristian Holt who was sent his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Minutes later, Gareth Carson avoided serious injury when he was thumped in the throat with a wayward arm when running down the wing and the good spirit which the match had been played in threatened to disappear. Now down to ten men, Andy Heald was introduced to bolster the Collieries defence. It proved to be a smart decision as he calmed the team down while cutting out many long balls from REMYCA. In truth, the second half didn’t offer as much entertainment as the first as Collieries searched for their third goal. With eight minutes of the match remaining a poor ball back to the Litherland ‘keeper allowed Gareth Peet to capitalise. He carried the ball to the byline and cut back inside before firing the ball into the top left hand corner. The large following of Collieries fans celebrated as much as the men in blue on the pitch. A substantial amount of time was added on at the end but the three points were Colls and they were carried victoriously back down the East Lancs. Results elsewhere mean that Michael Clegg’s side now need just three more victories to secure promotion into the heavenly land of the Premier Division. It was a tough match which had all the ingredients of a banana skin, but Collieries held out and did themselves proud once again. The two sides meet again towards the end of the month in the semi-final of the Division One Cup. Atherton Collieries: Danny Taberner, Jake Kenny, Robert Swanton, Kristian Holt, Gareth Carson, Mark Ayres, Mark Truffas, Ben Hardcastle, Jordan Cover, Matty Boland, Gareth Peet - Substitutes: Andy Heald, Tom Shaw, Matt Grimshaw, Mark Adams, Nathan Battersby Litherland REMYCA: Sean Lever, David Flynn, Callum Webb, Dean Siadanky, Stephen King, Chris Lowe, Louis Austin, John Hastings, Colin McDonald, Jamie Colbourn, Josh Wright - Substitutes: Lewis Jones, Rob Madine, Daniel Duffy, Phil Stancombe Attendance: 108 Match report by Joseph Gibbons

Report: Ilkeston 3-0 Colls

Atherton Collieries were bitten by the injury bug as they lost 3-0 against Ilkeston Town on Saturday. Second half goals from Tom Cursons, Callum Minkley

Read More

Preview: Ilkeston (A)

Atherton Collieries travel to Ilkeston Town this weekend in search of a second successive victory, aiming to build on an entertaining 3-2 win at Workington

Read More