DESPERATE to address a recent run of poor form, Michael Clegg took his Atherton Collieries side to bottom placed Goole on Saturday for a ‘six-pointer’ and came home with a point after a difficult day.

With injuries still blighting Clegg in his team selection, the Collieries turned out a decent starting 11 that included Ryan Salmon leading the front line.

But his exit after five minutes was followed by injuries to Gaz Peet (33mins) and Sebestian Julien (47mins).

Despite having to adapt to each setback, Salmon’s replacement Glenn Matthews put Colls ahead with a sublime finish in the 44th minute from 25 yards out.

Goole grabbed an equaliser midway through the second half after Jordan Turner headed home the rebound of his initial shot.

A pretty turgid opening 45 minutes saw the Colls just about edge it but it was Goole who registered the first substantial effort of the game on 24 minutes.

Greg Hartley was forced into a smart save after an ambitious Goole effort curled its way towards goal from the edge of the area.

Darrhyl Mason had a superb game, this was evidenced on 30 minutes as, inside his own area, the forward doggedly won the ball and pelted down the left flank.

Cutting inside, Mason simply ran out of steam, allowing Goole goalkeeper Ben Saynor to collect with ease.

Three minutes later and it was Iain Howard’s turn to stretch the host’s defence.

Peet won the ball on the left side and passed down towards Howard.

The winger tried to play Peet back through but this was blocked and the ball bounced back towards him.

Collecting once again, Howard advanced towards goal and released a stray effort that bounced wide of the mark.

That was Peet’s last contribution, with James Sigsworth his replacement.

For the opening goal, a boost just when Colls needed it, the ball fell to Matthews 25 yards out and just left of the Goole goal.

The substitute collected and composed himself before he rifled the ball into the back of the net, lobbing the Goole stopper in the process.

It was a great finish that was deserving of a solid first-half display.

Goole dominated the second period though.

Seconds after the restart Turner caused problems as he fired a composed shot into the side netting.

On 49 minutes the hosts had the ball in the back of the net, but off-side was the ruling as Atherton struggled to provide answers to Goole’s questions.

Seven minutes into the second half Clegg’s injury nightmare went from bad to worse.

The loss of Julien meant a defender being replaced by a midfielder in Jake Kenny, highlighting the severity of the injury crisis.

As Colls heroically soldiered on Goole’s equaliser came on 69 minutes.

A stray headed clearance was picked up by Turner inside the area.

Hartley, alert, narrowed the angles and blocked the initial effort but the forward comfortably slotted the rebound home.

Keen to find a winner and secure three points, Atherton continued to press.

Mason picked up a loose ball on the far right wing but, similar to the earlier effort, could only fire against the side netting at an acute angle.

The final effort of the game on 83 minutes showed just how out-of-luck the Collieries are at the moment.

A Colls free-kick caused chaos in the area as a header bounced back off the far post and along the goal line.

The ball failed to curve into the back of the net and so was eventually cleared away from any danger.

Under the circumstances this can almost definitely be labelled as one point gained and not three points dropped.

On Saturday Colls host EvoStik Division One North title favourites South Shields.

The Durham-based side are a boom club and up to 200 travelling followers are expected to arrive in Atherton for the game, kick off 3pm.