Report: Matlock 1-0 Colls

The Collieries were frustrated not to claim any share of the spoils following a tough & hard-fought trip to Matlock Town. However, the Stripes gave themselves an uphill battle from the off, gifting the hosts a goal during the opening exchanges. Alex Duhameau's goal ultimately proved insurmountable despite a resilient second half fight-back from the Black & Whites. The Stripes defense was caught sleeping as John Johnston played an appetizing ball across the penalty box, Duhameau converting as any initial game plan was thrown out of the window. As the first half progressed, Brad Cooke's men began to find a foothold in the game, Bailey Thompson notably on the receiving end of a golden opportunity after 20 minutes, frustratingly firing high and wide. Matlock continued to create chances of their own, Mackenzie Chapman proving his worth yet again with a fantastic diving save following an powerful Alex Byrne free kick. Adam Rooney proved valuable for the Stripes throughout the game, making an important block on the half hour mark, shortly followed by another effort on goal by Bailey Thompson, teed up by Marcus Cusani. The Colls went into the interval having developed a foothold in the game, regrouping well following the early set-back, and the task at hand for the second half was obvious. The effort and performance to match that challenge certainly cannot be doubted, though it ultimately wasn't to be. Adam Haw and Marcus Cusani were the first to test the goalkeeper with close efforts in the opening stanza of the second half, before Jay Fitzmartin and Ben Hardcastle bolstered the Collieries ranks from the substitutes bench. Fitzmartin, as always, instantly made his stamp on the game with an immediate trademark drive into the penalty area, followed by Ben Hardcastle heading straight at the goalkeeper on the hour mark. In truth, the second half showing was one of the most dominant league outings from the Collieries in recent months, with the lads fighting to a man for what would've been a well deserved equalizer. There was a strong claim for a Collieries penalty as Marcus Cusani was potentially fouled in the penalty box, the referee waving away claims as Cusani was pulled down after cutting past his man. Gaz Peet was also unfortunate not to convert a free-kick from the edge of the box, with goal 50 for the Colls well in his sights. The most blatant opportunity came towards the end of the game, with supporters of all loyalties flabbergasted that the ball never pinballed home following a close range Danny Lafferty effort, the goalkeeper closing the angle successfully before a sequence of rebounds ultimately landing agonizingly wide. Mentions must also go out to Adam Rooney & Cesaire Lingouba, who gave their all with gladiatorial performances to maintain the Black & Whites pressure. Ultimately, the final whistle was blown and the same old story was told, the desire & togetherness of all on & off the pitch for the Collieries could not be questioned but decisively, the luck to see the ball home for a goal just never came. As always, Brad and the squad were clapped off for their efforts at the final whistle, as attentions instantly turn to a decisive home double header against Guiseley (Mon 10th) followed by Whitby (Sat 15th). Your support is needed now more than ever at both matches as the lads fight to maintain their NPL Premier Division status for another campaign. Colls: Mackenzie Chapman, Adam Rooney, Gaz Peet, Joel Amado, Danny Lafferty, Scott Sephton (51' Ben Hardcastle), Cesaire Lingouba, Jack Lenehan (51' Jay Fitzmartin), Bailey Thompson, Adam Haw (62' Jesse Ebosele), Marcus Cusani Man of the Match: Adam Rooney, sponsored by the Colls Gals

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

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