Atherton Collieries three points clear at the top

ATHERTON Collieries ended the weekend three points clear in North West Counties League Division One.

A 3-1 win at Leek CSOB on Saturday followed a 5-0 home success against Daisy Hill in midweek.

Colls survived an early scare against Leek.

Goalkeeper Joe Brobbin brought down the Leek striker in the area but Dwayne Spence rolled the ball wide.

Colls took the lead on 36 minutes after Charlie Stoker set off on a run from near the halfway line.

The youngster rounded the defenders before squaring the ball across the face of goal where goalkeeper Lewis Rhodes fumbled and Mitch Leece was on hand to stab the ball home.

Leek were gifted an equaliser with the last chance of the half when a free kick was curled in and Oliver Mellor slammed the ball home.

Although Colls were nowhere near their best on a testing pitch their fitness began to tell the longer the game went.

With 10 minutes remaining Stoker was brought down in the box but Kieran Halliwell's penalty and follow up effort were excellently saved by Rhodes.

But on 85 minutes, Jake Patton scored from close range after a scramble within the area and eight minutes later the team could eventually relax as Paul Atherton tapped home the third goal.

A great team performance in the win against Daisy Hill avenged Colls' only league defeat of the season so far, which came on August 20.

Halliwell's penalty stroke was saved easily but Colls clicked into gear and on 33 minutes took the lead through Stoker.

The lead was soon doubled when Karl Atherton intercepted a ball on the halfway line, ran 30 yards and passed to Mitch Leece, who scored from 15 yards out.

In the second half, Leece ran on to the ball and chipped the static keeper with aplomb before Aaron Cringle seemed to get the last touch to a cross rolled across the six-yard box.

Leece completed a fine hat-trick with a class goal.

He flicked the ball over a defender's head before smashing home.

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