DYLAN Thompson grabbed the only goal as Atherton Collieries kept their faint hopes of survival alive with a 1-0 win over Stafford Rangers.

Heading into Saturday’s game, the Colls had to win to maintain any chance of an improbable late dash towards safety, whilst Stafford sat three points below the drop zone.

It would be the hosts who grabbed the much-coveted opening goal, breaking the deadlock just before the break following a recycled free-kick.

Centre-back Jack Evans showed brilliant composure with a classy turn and drive into the area, before firing across for fellow defender Thompson poke home.

That proved the ultimate flashpoint in a tight and at times cagey game, though both sides did have chances to add to the scoring in the second-half.

Kaiman Anderson had Stafford’s best chance at an equaliser, but ultimately saw his effort clear the crossbar.

Meanwhile, Jordan Scanlon went even closer to doubling his side’s advantage, rattling the woodwork after some fine footwork to create an opening.

And as the visitors started to commit an increasing number of bodies forward late on, substitute Kyle King also had a decent sight at making it 2-0, seeing his shot tipped behind after a swift counter-attack orchestrated by himself and Enock Lusiama.

But 1-0 it would remain as the referee blew the final whistle, meaning our fight continues on to Tuesday night, when Macclesfield visit the Skuna Stadium.