No joy for Remyca against high flying Atherton Colls on a frustrating day at Litherland Sports Park
There was much anticipation ahead of this North West Counties League Division One game at Litherland Sports Park between Litherland Remyca and Atherton Collieries. The visitors have been in blistering form this season and arrived at the Sports Park having scored 100 league goals so far in the season, however, Litherland went into this game unbeaten in five games and in good form. As expected Atherton Colls arrived at LSP with great numbers, pitched their flags and gave boisterous support to their team.
Litherland started on the front foot and looked lively contesting every ball and winning all of the early battles. The pace of Jamie Colbourn and Louis causing Colls problems which took them time to get their heads around. Despite Litherland’s early possession it was Colls who had one of the god chances early on when Mark Truffas crossed the ball from a corner which found Jordan Cover who’s header brought a good save from Sean Lake.
Such was Litherland’s play was such that when on 28 mins, Litherland took the lead and not many supporters would have begrudged them it at that point. Louis Austin weaved past one defender, then two, then three to blast an outstanding opening goal past the out-stretched Colls ‘keeper.
Remy looked to go on, but Atherton responded in what was becoming a titanic battle. Jordan Cover was a handful for the Remyca defenders who may have thought that with no 46-goal Mark Battersby to face their day would have been a bit easier, however Colls have strength in-depth and this showed. Atherton where awarded a penalty on 37 mins in a decision that left some of the supporters in the ground scratching their chins, the referee waved away protests from the Remyca players, claiming centre back Steve King had made contact with Jordan Cover and the kick was duly dispatched with aplomb by Mark Ayres.
This penalty incident seemed to unnerve the home side who lost composure in their play. Remyca did still carry a threat through and Louis Austin burst through the defence on 40 mins, Danny Taberner saving well from the striker. The Colls’ keeper was also alert two minutes later when Josh Right shot goal-wards and the ‘keeper dived well to thwart his attempt. The lack of composure was on display again on 44 minutes when Mark Truffas gave Atherton the lead with a free-kick that found it’s way into the bottom corner to make it 1-2 to Colls’, shortly after Sean Lake and a couple of the defenders had an in-depth discussion on the pitch to discuss the merits of a solid defensive wall. As the half time whistle went both sides went in for their interval oranges with Remyca rueing a small amount of defensive naivety whilst Colls’ players may have felt a tad fortunate about their slim advantage.
A response was needed from Remyca but try as they may they could make little headway against an organised and resolute Atherton outfit who defended gamely. The play was becoming fractured with little pattern on a difficult pitch with plenty of bobbles in it. On 71mins a second yellow card the Colls right Back Kristian Holt meant he was dismissed providing hope that Litherland could maybe capitalise on the man advantage. However, Colls dug in and it was they who were to seal the game on 82 mins when following an error by Dean Siadankey, he tried to pass the ball back to Remy ‘keeper Sean Lake, however the normally solid defender mis-judged the pace of Gareth Peet who intercepted the pass, took the ball wide and fired the ball into the net from an acute angle to make it 1-3 to Atherton Colls to the delight of their travelling supporters.
The second half wasn’t much to write home about, the pitch condition played it’s part and both sides did try to make the best of it, however the openings just did not materialise. Even the sending off did not make much difference to the game. Colls’ are a very good side and you can tell the quality that they have, they may well win the league title soon, however Remyca can hold their head high, they ran Colls’ close and maybe with a bit more street savvy the result would have been closer.
No time to mope for Remyca, they travel to Wigan Robin Park on Saturday then face Ashton Town, also on the road a week later but they will have a chance to re-group and still have opportunities to reach the divisional play-offs. There is still cup interest as well, they face Atherton Colls again in a few weeks over at Alder House in the Reusch First Division Cup Semi-Final.
Litherland REMYCA: Sean Lever, David Flynn, Callum Webb, Dean Siadanky, Stephen King, Chris Lowe, Louis Austin, John Hastings, Colin McDonald, Jamie Colbourn, Josh Wright – Substitutes: Lewis Jones, Rob Madine, Daniel Duffy, Phil Stancombe
Atherton Collieries: Danny Taberner, Jake Kenny, Robert Swanton, Kristian Holt, Gareth Carson, Mark Ayres, Mark Truffas, Ben Hardcastle, Jordan Cover, Matty Boland, Gareth Peet – Substitutes: Andy Heald, Tom Shaw, Matt Grimshaw, Mark Adams, Nathan Battersby
Report: Gary Langley