Match Report: Ashton Athletic 0 Atherton Collieries 4
Colls too strong for Yellows
Ashton Athletic welcomed Atherton Collieries to Brocstedes Park on the back of a 2 game winning run after victories against Winsford United and Carlisle City.
Adam Howard came back into the team in the place of Joe Sargent, who played well against Winsford and Carlisle, with Aaron Cringle reverting to right back . Sam Bailey and Joel Brownhill replaced Matt Farnworth and Chris Webster, and top scorer, Isaac Kusaloka returned to the starting lineup in place of Danny Smith, who was suffering with a groin injury.
The Yellows had a good chance to take an early lead but Isaac Kusaloka miscued his shot and it went wide of the post.
Colls then got the game by the scruff of the neck and applied pressure onto the Ashton defence. Mark Battersby’s fierce shot was parried by Martin Pearson to Ross Shepherd for him to clear and Ben Hardcastle had a good chance but his shot went wide.
Atherton took the lead in the 13th minute. The ball was put into the box and Martin Pearson slides out at the feet of an Atherton player but fails to hold the ball which runs free and is placed into the empty net by Ben Hardcastle. Colls could have doubled their lead but there was no one in the box to convert the cross.
Colls made it 2-0 in the 27th minute. Luke Holden concedes a penalty as he challenges for the ball played into the box and Mark Battersby converts from the spot.
Ashton threatened the Atherton defence but lacked the cutting edge to make any clear cut chances. Crosses from Paul Watson and Danny Regan were easily cleared and Isaac Kusaloka had a shot blocked by an Atherton defender. The Yellows’ best chance of the half came to Marcus Casani, whose left foot shot was well saved by Adam Reid.
Atherton could have made it 3-0 just before half time but Mark Battersby’s cross was mishit in front of goal.
Half Time: Ashton Athletic 0 Atherton Collieries 2
Ashton started the second half brightly and the Yellows had 2 free kicks in the space of 3 minutes in a dangerous position. The first free kick was crossed in but it was too high for Luke Holden to reach with his head. The second free kick was blasted into the wall by Brownhill.
Ben Hardcastle had a good chance for Atherton in the 57th minute but his shot was easily saved by Martin Pearson but he was helpless to stop Mark Truffas’ goal on 60 minutes. Truffas hit a wonderfully curling shot into Pearson's top left corner after cutting in from the left and firing from the edge of the box.
The Yellows started to come into the game and had some decent possession, but like the first half were unable to create any sort of change to trouble Adam Reid in the Atherton goal. Adam Gilchrist replaced Aaron Cringle to try to add some attacking options and Matt Farnworth replaced Sam Bailey in midfield, but nothing Ashton did could penetrate the Atherton defence.
Ashton’s misery was complete when a cross from left to right across the top of the box found Ben Hardcastle completely unmarked and with lots of space. Luke Holden tried to close him down but is unable to get there before Hardcastle shoots and beats Martin Pearson diving low to his right.
Full Time: Ashton Athletic 0 Atherton Collieries 4