Saturday 18th October 2008

Alsager Town 2 Atherton Collieries 4
Vodkat League Premier Division
At: Town Ground
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 42
Weather: dry, mild

For the second time in four days, Alsager Town suffered at the hands of lowly opposition as Atherton Collieries recorded their first league win of the season.

Despite a goal in each half from Andy Whitney, the Bullets were never in front against the Premier Division’s bottom club even though they created enough chances to have won the game. They were also led down as well by defensive lapses.

Hesitant defending allowed Atherton to take the lead after less than 3 minutes. Lee Duckworth failed to clear just outside his own area and Craig Wilson sent an unstoppable drove past keeper Mike Langley.

Looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s defeat at Flixton, Alsager took a while to get into their stride and almost levelled on 20 minutes when skipper Lee Jones fired against a post from fully 30 yards out.

In the next attack Gavin Bates tipped over a rising drive from Tim Drohan and defender John Cheetman missed a great chance from the resulting corner.

Eventually the equaliser came in the 35th minute. Kyle Griffin got to the right bye-line and pulled the ball back for Whitney to hammer a low shot into the opposite corner of the net.

The goal noticeably unsettled the visitors and Alsager were expected to go on and win the game.

Just before the break, Drohan was unlucky to see a header rebound off the game and the ball was scrambled clear.

The Bullets made a positive start to the second half and both Whitney and Drohan saw efforts cleared off the line by defender James Cotton within five minutes of the restart.

Bates also produced a fine save to block a close-range shot from Whitney after good work by Drohan down the right.

However, the visitors regained the lead in the 65th minute with a gift of a goal. Dave Chambers needlessly impeded Troy Hayder inside the area and Wilson sent Langley the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Alsager continued to created chances. Bates tipped over a rising drive from Joe Roberts while Drohan fired wide from Duckworth’s corner.

It was visitors who struck next with a third goal in the 74th minute to double their lead. Andy Barker delivered a free-kick into the area from the left and unchallenged Simon Howard beat Langley with a diving header.

Whitney set up what looked like being an exciting finish by halving Atherton’s advantage in the 84th minute. Cheetham headed down Jones’ corner and Whitney fired low into the bottom right corner from 10 yards.

But the visitors netted a fourth goal in stoppage time to complete a miserable afternoon for the Bullets. Langley produced an outstanding diving save to turn James Parkinson’s thunderbolt shot on to post. However, the rebound across the face of goal fell for Ryan Outcliffe to square for Ajit Wale to tap in at close range.

Alsager Town: Langley, McCarthy, Duckworth (Taylor, 77), Chambers, Cheetham, Griffin (Clarke, 83), Whitney, Jones, Roberts (Williams, 83), Wooley, Drohan. Unused subs: Swann, Gill.

Atherton Collieries: Bates, Parsonage (Hunt, 70), Cotton, Parkinson, Howard, Conlon, Levendis, Wilson, Hayder, Sharpe (Outcliffe, 68), Barker (Wale, 90). Unused subs: Walker.