On Saturday we travel to the Millbank Linnets Stadium for a 2nd v 3rd Evo-Stik Division One West clash, with Linnets sitting a mere point behind Colls. With league leaders Radcliffe visiting Leek in what also promises to be a tight game, the table could have any one of three leaders come 5pm.
The teams have already met twice this season at the Skuna Stadium, in the league and FA Trophy, Colls running out victorious in both games. In the league game Vinny Bailey opened the scoring before old adversary Freddie Potter levelled the game. Two headers, firstly from Matt Grimshaw then a looping effort from Danny Lambert that will live long in the memory put Colls 3-1 up before Connor McCarthy hit a worldie straight into the top corner late on, the Colls defence stood firm to see the game out as Linnets pushed hard for an equaliser.
The week after we met again, this time in the FA Trophy, Adam Farrell opened the scoring before Colls old boy Kris Holt hit a first half equaliser across Dale Latham after bamboozling the defence. This coming after another Colls old boy Paul Shanley had been dismissed for two yellow card offences. With the extra man, Colls wasted no time after the break as Jordan Cover grabbed a brace to put the game out of Linnets’ reach. Or so we thought until that man Connor McCarthy hit another special to make the score line 3-2 again. This time Colls didn’t have to ride waves of Linnets attacks as James Siggsworth made the game safe with a cracking free kick from the edge of the box.
Linnets will be buzzing after dispatching Stalybridge Celtic from the Cheshire Senior Cup midweek with a last-gasp Kurt Sherlock equaliser before clinching the tie on penalties. Last time out in the league, Linnets took 3 points from Skelmesdale by the odd goal in three. That was after losing 4-0 at home before Christmas to Droylsden, highlighting the topsy-turvy nature of the league, where every team is competitive. Both games were played in from of crowds around the 400 mark, we can guarantee that they’ll be backing the home team again, your team needs you!
Colls won’t need reminding of their last visit to the venue, losing 2-0 despite the fact Linnets were down to 9 men! Moving on… James Kirby will be hoping to relive his finest game in a Colls shirt, grabbing a hat-trick against Linnets after coming off the bench in 2015, replacing Matt Grimshaw in a tactical switch by the manager. Both teams will have players from that North-West Counties game in their squads tomorrow, highlighting the parallels between the clubs.
Following Connor McCarthy’s move to Warrington, we can be relieved that he won’t be netting a hat-trick of goal of the season contenders against us. However, in Kris Holt, Freddie Potter and Kurt Sherlock, the frontline still packs many threats, with defender Louis Corrigan also netting regularly.
Millbank Linnets Stadium