Report: Skelmersdale United 0-3 Colls

A comfortable victory at Skelmersdale’s temporary Prescot Cables home sees Atherton Collieries in need of just one win from their final two games to cap a remarkable season and clinch the Evo-Stik League Division One West title. On a summery afternoon, weather perfectly suited for lounging around, the first half was something of a lazy effort, befitting of the weather, with neither side seeming in a creative mood, bar the one moment of quality that saw Colls go in front on 18 minutes. Ben Hardcastle, scorer of four goals as Colls won the corresponding fixture 9-1, burst forward from midfield, jinking past Marvin Molyneux and teed up Jordan Cover to lash the ball home past Ryan Kirkman from just inside the area. Micheal Clegg had to rearrange his charges just after the half hour mark as Clive Smith was forced to withdraw from injury, with Matt Grimshaw coming off the bench to fill in at centre half with Danny Lafferty moving across to right back to fill the void as Colls went in at the break a goal to the good. It took only six minutes of the second half for Colls to double their lead, Hardcastle dodging and jinking inside the box to create an opening only to see his shot palmed away by Kirkman, albeit only as far as Tom Bentham who made no mistake in slotting away the rebound. Connor Hughes curled an effort just wide of the target before Bentham came within a whisker of getting a second goal of the afternoon when he volleyed Daniel Lambert’s cross, but Kirkman produced a terrific save to deflect the ball on to the woodwork and away. Kirkman was again the only obstacle from Colls going further in front in the closing stages, substitute Conor Gaul breaking from halfway and evading two challenges only to be denied by the goalkeeper when one-on-one. Kirkman’s copybook was blotted as Colls claimed a third goal in stoppage time, the Skelmersdale goalkeeper falling for Hardcastle’s trickery and bringing down the Colls flyer in the penalty area, with Gareth Peet scoring the resultant spot kick. In traditional Easter fashion, Colls are quickly back in action with Trafford visiting the Skuna Stadium on Easter Monday (22nd April, 3pm) where three points are all that are needed for Colls to guarantee the Evo-Stik League Division One West title and historic promotion to the Evo-Stik League Premier Division. Atherton Collieries: Greg Hartley, Clive Smith (Matt Grimshaw 34’), Gareth Peet, Daniel Lambert, Daniel Lafferty ©, Ian Rowlands, Ben Hardcastle, Vinny Bailey, Tom Bentham, Jordan Cover (Oliver Roberts 56’), Connor Hughes (Conor Gaul ‘73). Substitutes (not used): Dave Sherlock, James Kirby. Goals: Jordan Cover (18'), Tom Bentham (52'), Gareth Peet (90’ penalty) Twinshock Colls Mon IPA Man of the Match: Ben Hardcastle Attendance: 216 Match Report: Matt Lawton

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