Despite an incredible away following, Atherton Collieries walked away from the east coast with no share of the spoils following an evenly matched encounter with Whitby Town. Chances were limited throughout the first half of the match, with opportunities being exchanged quid pro quo. The ever-troublesome Brad Fewster was the first to threaten the goal for Whitby with an early volley, before Seasiders’ stopper Shane Bland was called upon to make smart saves from Scott Bakkor and Jack Lenehan.
Controversy ensued upon the halfway mark of the first half, as Luca Defreitas-Hansen departed the pitch injured following a reckless elbow from Jacob Day. We are pleased to report that Luca is recovering well from the incident and has since been checked over & treated at Royal Liverpool Hospital, being discharged in the early hours of Sunday morning. We would also like to place on record our appreciation for the Colls sports therapy staff, Matt & Brit, as well as the on-site medical team at the Turnbull Ground for their response.
Chances remained few and far between for the remainder of the first half, though stopper Nico Defreitas-Hansen was immaculate throughout with his command of the penalty area to ease any potential dangers.
The first chance of the second half fell to midfield dynamo Arran Pettifer, who fired high-and-wide following a cleared cross from Gaz Peet into the Whitby box, which was followed shortly by Whitby’s Fewster threatening once again with a low drilled effort. Scott Bakkor also threatened the goal with an ambitious long range effort.
As the evening went on, the hosts began to find a foothold within the game, and began to attack the Collieries goal with increasing regularity, with Nico Defreitas-Hansen called upon to make multiple smart stops.
The goal eventually came for Whitby through Brad Fewster. A Soni Fergus cross was allowed to ricochet around the 6-yard box, and was ultimately fired home by the ever-clinical number ten.
The Colls were reinvigorated following the goal, with Gaz Peet causing problems for the Whitby defence immediately following the restart, before a big chance came through Aaron Smith stinging the palms of stopper Shane Bland with a long range effort, the resultant fumbled catch narrowly evaded the feet of Marcus Cusani.
The travelling faithful were in incredible voice throughout, and remained jubilant despite the Black & Whites frustrated efforts to find a late equaliser. Peet, who was a constant offensive presence throughout, came closest to equalising with a late free-kick, which evaded everybody in a crowded penalty area only to be matched by a smart Bland save.
Nico Defreitas-Hansen was on hand yet again in the final moment of the game, producing an acrobatic & photogenic late save to keep the scoreline at the final score of 1-0 to Whitby.
Next up, the Collieries travel to Marston Road to face Stafford Rangers, in what promises to be another exciting Northern Premier League encounter. Colls: Nico Defreitas-Hansen, Clive Smith, Gaz Peet, Joel Amado, Danny Lafferty. Luca Defreitas-Hansen (26’ Adam Rooney), Ethan Kershaw (60’ Aaron Smith), Jack Lenehan, Scott Bakkor (67’ Jay Fitzmartin), Arran Pettifer, Marcus Cusani - Sub (Unused): Bailey Thompson Man of the Match: Nico Defreitas-Hansen