Atherton Collieries made the 4-hour round trip to Teesside on Saturday afternoon as they took on Marske United in the preliminary round of the Buildbase FA Trophy. Michael Clegg’s were full of confidence ahead of their trip to the North-East, The Colls are currently in a great position at the summit of the Evo-stik Division One West, and after seeing off Runcorn Linnets 4-2 in the previous round of the FA Trophy, this match had goals written all over it.
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— Atherton Collieries (@ACFC1916) October 13, 2018
In the opening stages it was the home side who looked the more likely to create the first opening in front of goal, as Chay Liddle connected from a great cross right into the hands of Dale Latham. In the 17th minute, Craig Gott came very close to giving the hosts the lead as he was put through on goal, but Callum Spooner was on hand to steal the ball from Gott and knock the ball behind for a corner kick. In the resulting corner, the hosts got the goal that they were pushing for as the Marske skipper Adam Wheatley smashed the ball home from close range following a goal-line scramble.
Marske continued to dominate the play as they put Atherton Collieries under a great deal of pressure, but the away side came into the game on the half-hour mark as Danny Lambert saw his volley at goal blocked on the line by the Marske defence. Just minutes later, there were some dramatic scenes in Marske as Vinny Bailey broke through the home defence as he rounded the keeper only to see his shot cleared off the line, and then just seconds later, the away side were awarded a penalty as Gareth Peet was impeded in the penalty area.
In the resulting penalty, Colls top goalscorer Ben Hardcastle was on hand to fire the ball past Liam Watson to level up the contest. After a dominant 20-minute spell from the hosts, it was the away side who gathered the momentum, and they were rewarded just four minutes after levelling up the match as Vinny Bailey latched onto Adam Farrell’s flick-on as he slotted the ball home to gift the visitors the lead for the first time in the game. The away side almost doubled their lead as Bailey and Farrell combined once more, but Bailey’s attempt flew just over the crossbar.
At the start of the second-half, the two sides were quite evenly matched as they both created chances. But, it was Ben Conway who came very close as he broke the offside trap, but his shot sailed over the bar. The away side were punished for those missed opportunities as the hosts levelled up the match at 2-2 as Craig Gott curled home a spectacular effort following a long ball which was not dealt with by the Colls defence. With 20 minutes to play, Jordan Cover entered the fray as he looked to find a winning goal for the away side.
The away side enjoyed a comfortable spell, but the Marske defence remained composed as they left the Colls frustrated. Dale Latham was called into action in the 75th minute as he saved a superb diving header with Gareth Peet on hand to assist on the goal-line. After a good spell of pressure, it was the home side who took the lead with just 12 minutes to play as Matthew Walters curled the ball home from close range. The away side weren’t giving up though as they desperately chased down an equalising goal, and they nearly found it as Cover came inches away as he tapped the ball on from Giverin’s cross. There was a moment of controversy in the third minute of injury time as the away side were given a late, late penalty as Gareth Peet was brought down in the box. Hardcastle stepped up, but it was saved by Watson, but Danny Lambert was in close proximity as he smashed the ball into the back of the Marske net to equalise, and with it, forced a replay in this FA Trophy encounter.
Overall, it was a great result for the away side in the scheme of things, as for the home side, they’ll be frustrated after giving away a last-gasp penalty. The replay will be played on Monday evening at the Skuna Stadium in Atherton.