Report: Ossett Town 1-0 Colls

Following the heroics of the First Qualifying Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup campaign, the Collieries were presented with yet another away trip in the Second, Ossett Town the destination for their tenth consecutive away draw. Despite the change in location, the motivation remained the same. Bitterly disappointed after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat against our hosts, Clegg wanted revenge. For the second cup game in a row, the Colls looked to right a wrong. Just one change for Atherton going into this game, a direct swap as winger Johnny Gorman came in for Josh Messer. Unfortunately, the Collieries struggled against a dogged Town side. The elusive finishing touch ultimately caused Celgg’s men to bow out of the FA Cup for this season, maybe next year will be the Colls’ year? Indeed, our hosts made the brighter start, Adam Reid’s palms stung on ten minutes. Martin Pembleton cut outside the area before he directed a drilled effort on goal. Reid did well to get down to his right. As the first 15 minutes ticked by, both sides were still yet to settle. A routine stop for Ossett stopper Leigh Overton from a Gaz Peet free kick the only highlight. Though from this point onwards, Clegg’s men took it up a gear and enjoyed their best spell of the half, to open proceedings forward Jordan Cover poked just wide at the near post from a Peet cut back. Despite this persistence, Overton was equal to every Atherton effort. Again, he saved a low and hard Ben Hardcastle drive from the edge of the area. Defensively the black and whites still had to be alert, on the half hour mark the Reds came extremely close to drawing first blood. A ball to Corey Gregory free on the edge of the area the danger, luckily the defender failed to finish as he fired well over the bar, the ball landing closer to Dewsbury than it did Ossett. However two minutes later, the Collieries had switched off as they conceded possibly the flukiest goal of the round, maybe the whole competition. Steve Ridley somehow managed to curl an effort into the back of the net from the corner spot. A bobble believed to have aided the midfielder but the fact of the matter was the Colls had conceded from a corner ball, for that split second they had indeed switched off. At half time the Atherton faithful knew a big 45 was needed, indeed a big 45 was delivered. Wave after wave of Collieries attack came and went, just no finishing touch available. Seconds into the half spirits were raised when Hardcastle curled a fair effort at goal from the edge of the area. In truth, a routine stop for Overton but an initial bright spark after a dull half. The Colls came closest on 64 minutes. A quite beautiful long ball sent forward from defence was collected impeccably by Iain Howard inside the Ossett area. The experienced winger had done the hard work as he took the ball around Overton, unfortunately just yards from goal he was unable to get the ball from under his feet and was soon tackled well from the Town defence. Chance after chance soon came and went, if it wasn’t for a heroic save from Reid on 67 minutes Atherton’s task would’ve been all the greater. Somehow Reid mustered up a double save from at first a low drive and then its follow up. Like last weekend, the writing was on the wall throughout the dying embers of the game. The final chance came in the third minute of stoppage time when two consecutive black and white corners caused chaos in the area. Numerous headers eventually allowed the ball to bounce toward Darhyll Mason. The forward headed over yards from goal. It was not to be, the referees’ whistle brought an end to Clegg’s FA Cup dreams for this season. Throughout the ninety, bar Town’s goal, the Colls looked defensively sound; they simply soaked up anything that came their way. Even at the rare occasion when something managed to slip through, Reid was always there to prevent it. It was up top Atherton struggled, that finishing touch the Crazy Gang were all to used to seeing proved elusive in this outing. The real headline of the day came after the game when it was learnt that Collieries fan Eric Lancaster had cycled to the game from Atherton. That’s correct, the 85 year old had decided to make the journey on his bicycle, a total of 51 miles, and five hours in the saddle, just to watch his beloved Colls in the FA Cup. It’s safe to say the black and whites hero that day deserved the coach journey home. Thank you, Eric! Games come thick and fast in this division; Clegg’s men have a great chance to bounce back on Monday night as international football graces the Kensite. Colwyn Bay the visitors for yet another tough Evo-Stik outing. Ossett Town: Leigh Overton, Anthony Mackie, Isaac Assenso, Corey Gregory, Alex Low, Josh Snowden, Martin Pembleton, Steve Ridley, Alex Peterson ©, Kai Hancock, Ashley Jackson – Substitutes: Seon Ripley, Ryan Ferguson, Tom Smith, Matt Templeton, Sam Wright, Daniel Gibbons and Matt Brooke. Atherton Collieries: Adam Reid, Chris Lynch (Matthew Marsh 86’), Gareth Peet, Daniel Lafferty, Jamie Forbes, Bard Cooke ©, Ben Hardcastle, Johnny Gorman (Jordan Grant 73’), Jordan Cover, Iain Howard, Darhyll Mason – Unused Substitutes: Matt Grimshaw, Josh Messer, Dominic Butler. Attendance: 244 Match Report: Zach Pierce Photo: David Featherstone

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