Report: New Mills 0-5 Colls

Atherton Collieries travelled to New Mills for the first time since 2009, putting in a solid performance that keeps them second in the NWCFL Premier Division table. A full strength team was available once again and confidence appeared high in the Colls camp as they lay siege to New Mills' goal throughout proceedings. They were urged on by a large away following and the fans were rewarded for their efforts in reaching the edge of the Peak District. Looking resplendent in their dark green kit, Collieries attacked up the slope in the first half towards the clubhouse. The scenic setting had been used for recent Sky One sitcom Rovers and a lonely St Bernard dog wandered down the terracing. A plethora of fans gathered above the net and they were treated to a goal in the opening minutes when Mark Battersby was wrestled down in the penalty area from behind; did the defender make a legitimate attempt to go for the ball? A yellow card and spot kick was the outcome.  Battersby dusted himself down and took responsibility for the penalty, sending it into the bottom right hand corner.  On the ten minute mark, Josh Messer did well in midfield to win possession and then thread the ball through to Darrhyl Mason. The striker bared down on goal but goalkeeper Mason Mostyn pulled off a good save. It was one of a number of fantastic saves that Mostyn put in during the game and if it wasn't for him the winning margin would have been more handsome. Six minutes later Ben Hardcastle managed to lose his marker in the area and his glancing header was directed into the hands of Mostyn. The play was fast, organised and relentless and it was a joy to watch. A minute later though, New Mills had their best attempt at goal when Daniel Douglas-Pringle hit a low effort against the bottom of the right hand post. This started a spell of sustained pressure from the hosts but Grimshaw and Forbes were solid in their tackles and Colls weathered the storm. On 24 minutes, Hardcastle was upended as he raced down the right hand side. Truffas took the resulting free-kick which he swung towards the back post. Vinny Bailey was picked out and he can count himself unfortunate to see his headed effort power into the side netting.  Three minutes later Mark Battersby and Darrhyl Mason linked up well and the latter found himself through on goal once again. With time and space to steady himself it looked as though Colls would double their lead but once again Mostyn was on hand, this time tipping the effort over the bar.  With ten minutes to go before the interval the match started to turn into a physical affair as New Mills tried to stamp some authority on to the match. Colls responded and it made for a fantastic midfield battle in which all players were fully committed. This midfield battle left the home side exposed at the back and Hardcastle was enjoying himself down the wing. On one such occasion he picked out Truffas at the back post but his header flew wide of the target. It would have been Truffas' second headed goal for the club after that infamous one at Holker Old Boys a few years ago which lives long in the memory. Colls lead was deservedly doubled a minute before half time. A long ball was hoofed towards the touch line and it looked to be a lost cause. Hardcastle though had other ideas and he chased after it, managing to keep it in play. He then took the ball around the defender and sent in a cross to Mason. The ball was slightly behind the striker but he somehow wrapped his foot around it and sent the ball into the bottom right hand corner with a volley. It was a slower start to the second half but Collieries continued to assert themselves on the game. Ten minutes into the half the away side had four chances in a matter of second to further extend their lead but somehow the ball just wouldn't cross the line.  Matt Grimshaw found himself in goalscoring positions a few times and was unlucky not to add to his Colls tally on 64 minutes. Centre to goal he sent a looping header over goalkeeper Mostyn. Remarkably, he got a finger to it and then smothered the loose ball at the second attempt as it trickled towards the line.  Then came a Mark Truffas special. While it may only be the second best goal he's scored this week, his curling effort on 70 minutes was a joy to watch. He picked the ball up on the left, cut inside and then picked his spot as he placed the ball into the top right hand corner from the edge of the area.  With the game looking like it was wrapped up and a match two days later, Colls could afford to make a triple substitution. Darrhyl Mason, Mark Battersby and Mark Truffas all came off to the ovation of the travelling fans. All three had done brilliantly. They were replaced by Brad Cooke, Jordan Cover and Liam Wood.  Within minutes of being introduced Cooke and Cover linked up to make the scoreline 4-0. With New Mills still trying to play attractive football in midfield, Cooke won possession and immediately thread the ball through to Cover who in turn slotted his effort past Mostyn into the bottom right. The victory was rounded off on 89 minutes when Vinny Bailey squared the ball to Ben Hardcastle. The winger fired the ball into the roof of the empty net from close range. It was a fantastic team performance from front to back. New Mills looked very dangerous going forward making a clean sheet even sweeter.  New Mills - Mason Mostyn, Charlie Doyle, Dominic Newton, Mike Jones, Daniel Browne, Ryan Hopper, Sam Marshall, Ryan Hibbert, Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Tunde Owolabi, Dylan Stringer-Moth - Substitutions - Luke Jones, Duncan Knott, Robbie Swallow, Will Wareing, Haydn Foulds Atherton Collieries - Adam Reid, Jake Kenny, Gareth Peet, Josh Messer, Matt Grimshaw, Jamie Forbes, Ben Hardcastle, Vinny Bailey, Mark Battersby, Darrhyl Mason, Mark Truffas - Substitutions - Liam Wood, Brad Cooke, Jordan Cover, Danny Lafferty, Justin Pickering Attendance - 136 Match report by Joseph Gibbons Photo by David Featherstone      

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