ATHERTON Colls gratefully returned to league action The Skuna Stadium with FC United of Manchester the opposition for a third meeting of the campaign.

John Welsh, Michael Brewster and Danny O’Brien made their home debuts for Michael Clegg’s team ­— but Colls were beaten 3-2 after drawing level twice.

Colls started the game with vim and pep and on five minutes took the lead.

Tom Bentham took a lovely weighted ball from midfield in his stride and confidently slotted past Cameron Belford.

A game of pinball in the Colls’ box eventually saw ace poacher Tunde Owalabi equalise from yards out.

If FC’s opener was scruffy their go ahead strike ten minutes later certainly wasn’t.

Oli Byrne punched clear only for Michael Potts to laser missile his shot from distance into the top right hand corner of the net.

Colls weren’t done and Cover finished well to make the scores on the doors at the end of a breathless first half 2-2.

The second half was equally as competitive with two well matched teams going at it hammer and tongs.

On 53 minutes the visitors regained the lead for a second time.

Regan Linney was given time and space to bend another unstoppable effort past the unfortunate Byrne.

With 15 minutes remaining Colls thought they level.

Cover rose highest at the far post to nod home a teasing Brad Lynch centre.

As he celebrated the liner’s raised flag elicited a totally different reaction from each camp. A tight, tight decision that will make for lively debate. Colls pushed the excellent Niall Battersby forward to rescue a point and the game became stretched. FC tried to capitalise on the break but Cover very nearly had the last word. In stoppage time he controlled beautifully a precise Battersby cross but gut wrenchingly his finish was well over the bar with the relieved FC defenders in no man’s land.

On Saturday Colls host Scarborough Athletic in The FA Trophy, ko 3pm