Atherton Colleries were in sensational form on Saturday afternoon at the Kensite Stadium as they hammered nine goals past Skelmersdale United in their Evo-Stik Division one West encounter.
But, the home side didn’t get off to a great start as Skelmersdale took the lead in just the sixth minute as Paul Ennis tapped in the rebound from Morgan Bacon’s saved effort from Alex Griffith’s strike.
The home side were growing into the game in the opening 20 minutes, and their patience was rewarded in the 24th minute as Ben Hardcastle bundled the ball home from close range to make it six for the season to level things up at 1-1.
Just five minutes later, Atherton took the lead for the first time as Ian Rowlands headed home Vincent Bailey’s corner. Just seven minutes from the interval, Atherton moved into a 3-1 lead as Jordan Cover latched onto Hardcastle’s through ball as he fired the ball past a helpless Terence Smith in the Skelmersdale goal.
Atherton Colleries opened up a comfortable 4-1 lead heading into half-time as Jordan Cover doubled his tally as once again latches onto a delightful through-ball as he rounds Smith in the Skelmersdale goal as the home side go into half-time with a healthy three-goal advantage.
The home side picked up where they left off in the first 45 minutes as the second half got underway as it took the hosts just nine minutes to find the Skelmersdale net for the fifth time as Ian Rowlands met Matthew Grimshaw’s grounded pass to make it 5-1 to the hosts.
The home side continued to run riot as Jordan Cover fired in his hat-trick as he made it to the 100 mark for Atherton Colleries as he tapped home from close range to make it 6-1.
And, Atherton weren’t relenting as they continued to press in the search of more goals, and they were awarded a penalty in the 83rd minute as Jordan Cover was brought down by Smith in the Skelmersdale goal and denied the hat-trick hero another goal. As a result of that, Smith was given his marching orders by J.Sheppard. In the resulting spot kick, Hardcastle fires the ball home off the post to give the hosts a 7-1 lead.
And, they weren’t done there as Cover found Harcastle to make it eight with three minutes to spare, before Hardcastle fired in his fourth goal of the match as he smashed the ball into the top right corner to complete the rout.
It’s Atherton’s biggest win since 1982, and that win will give them lots of confidence heading into the rest of the campaign, and with Cover getting three goals to take his tally to 100, and Ben Hardcastle put in a phenomenal display as he found the net four times.
After the whistle, Hardcastle picked up his player of the month award (pictured below)
Photographs courtesy of David Featherstone