MINES ARE TOO DEEP FOR 74
BY GARRY CLARKE
ATHERTON COLLIERIES 1-0 1874 NORTHWICH HSL PREMIER 18TH FEBRUARY 2017
A solitary goal separated 2nd and 3rd in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division clash between two evenly matched teams at the Kensite Stadium.
After an initial feeling out process between two of the division’s heavyweights, 1874 playing up the hill started to gain the upper hand and with Tyler Edwards prominent down the right flank played several dangerous balls into the Colls area, rather than an 1874 attacker getting to them they were cleared by desperate defenders.
As the first half progressed the home side started to come more into the game, with Mark Truffas cutting inside from the left and firing in a shot which Greg Hall did well to tip around the post. 1874 momentarily switched off allowing Colls to play a well worked short corner to Ben Hardcastle on the edge of the area, from where the Colls hit man drilled the ball through a packed penalty area to open the scoring in the 24th minute.
In the closing minutes of the half moments after former 1874 player Neil Chappell struck a shot over the 1874 bar, Jason Carey drew a save from Colls goalkeeper Adam Reid with a shot from the edge of the area and in the opening minutes of the second half fired over the bar from distance.
On the hour mark Edwards drilled a free kick from the right into Colls six yard box, Mark Jones diverted the ball goal wards, at point blank range the ball hit Reid, who with no 1874 player in attendance dove forward to pounce on the rebound.
A very well organized hard working team, Atherton displayed a great determination to prevent 1874 from finding a way back into the game disrupting their chances of finding any kind of rhythm, whilst looking to add to their tally. Hall did well to keep out a corner, while Jordan Cover shot wide after a good run by Vincent Bailey and Chappell went close again.
Tom Bailey flashed the ball across the face of Colls goal just evading Carey at the far post, while Sam Hind had a cross deflected behind for a corner.
In the 75th minute Bailey drove a free kick into the defensive wall, Mark Jones scooped the rebound into the danger area only for Colls to clear their lines and break up field, Truffas, closing in on goal was stopped by a perfectly timed Paul Connor tackle. From the resultant corner Jamie Forbes shot over the bar.
Five minutes later another Bailey shot was blocked leading to another break away which again was ended by Connor who blocked Hardcastle’s shot.
1874 played a number of harmless free kicks straight into Reid’s hands, Sam Hare floated one onto Ryan Mitchell’s head, but the 1874 defender could not find a way past Reid.
Deep into stoppage time at the end of an enthralling encounter Hall saved well tipping a Hardcastle shot over the bar, from the resultant corner Hardcastle shot wide.
Colls- Reid, Kenny, Forbes, Lafferty, Peet, Messer, Bailey (Mukendi 86), Chappell, Hardcastle, Cover (Battersby 90), Truffas (Sherlock 79) Subs not used Cooke, Brookes
1874 -Hall, Connor, Mitchell, Farnworth, Russell, Edwards (Joe Woolley 57), Lee Jones, Mark Jones, Hind (Hare 76), Carey (McGowan 68), Bailey Subs not used Matthew Woolley, Douglas
GOAL – Colls Hardcastle 24
Attendance 408 Referee D.Appleby