Well after the final which Bury won 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw, it has been a great way to prepare for the forthcoming (hopefully promotion) season, I have a personal hatred of friendly matches and refuse to watch them, even my beloved Latics, apathy by the players is not what I expect from a game of football.
I don’t expect it from my fellow players on a Wednesday evening at 5-a-side so I won’t tolerate it from the professionals.
So when I found out that the season in other walks of life kick off earlier than all the rest I was like a fox in the hen house.
It all started on Saturday at the homely surroundings of Brocstedes Park 76 other folk were in attendance £5 to get in and £1.50 for the programme to watch as Ashton Athletic drew their first game of the season in the North West Counties League Premier Division against The Bears of Congleton Town 1-1.
Man of the Match for me was the home keeper Danny Lever who had a busy afternoon indeed, he was helpless to watch as mid way thro’ the 1st half as the visitors floated in a dangerous curling cross from out on the left it fell to Barlow who watched his shot first hit the post with the following rebound hitting the crossbar and to the travelling fans amazement ending up in the grateful home keepers arms.
A few minutes later the away keeper misjudged a cross shot from the lively Adam Howard and The Yellow Latics took the lead, that from what I can remember was their only shot on target in the entire ninety minutes.
Around the seventy minute mark the hardy band of 8 away fans cheered as they got a deserved equalizer by Barlow after a close range header from a cracking cross from the impressive left winger Hudson.
Next up on Monday was Atherton Collieries against Wigan Robin Park, by the way same price for entry and the programme as Ashton Athletic, the match at half time was one nil to The Robins, thanks to a dozy home keeper who allowed a lobbed speculative effort to sail over him.
The second half was a completely different affair as The Colliers ran riot and left Wigan’s defence in total disarray, a superb free kick by Matthew Boland was the equalizer and then buoyed by the goal the home outfit using pace with guile soon took the lead & built on it as the half wore on.
Clinical finishing, number 10 Mark Batersby got two I reckon and in among it all was a OG as well, the right back Jake Kenny was impressive while the lumbering centre back Gareth Carson had a good game at the heart of the home defence.
Atherton Colls solidly built on the opening 2-1 away win against Cammell Laird with this resounding 5-1 home win in front of an impressive gate of 197.
Bearing in mind this was Div 1 of the NWCFL, as for the two games you couldn’t really tell which were the Premier teams and which were the Div 1 outfits.
A point to note the pitch at Alder House has one helluva slope on it but the blokes around me reckoned it was 50-50 as to which end the goals were scored in, as it happens all six were downhill so to speak.
The Lancashire Senior Cup Final was an entertaining game for eight of your English pounds but not a beer to be had, ( in case of trouble a serious sounding steward informed me !) Grant Holt led the line and to be fair he actually did run about, missed two good chances & had a bit of banter with the crowd on more than one occasion.
Both goals were scored from soft penalties given because of sliding tackles from behind by over eager defenders, 1-0 the Latics at h/t then 1-1 at 90 minutes.
The goal custodians of each outfit both made good saves in each halves and kept their respective team-mates in touch with the winners medals, Overall Latics should have won on chances created and were left to rue a host of missed opportunities against the Kasper Schmeichel look-a-like resplendent in his bright orange keepers kit.
Latics had a penalty saved and hit the bar with another and the decent following from Gigg Lane had a Cup to celebrate, mind you Sky Sports News the font of all knowledge, or so they tell us got it all wrong.
WAFC – Nicholls, Burke, McNally, Chow, Harrison, Garcia, Johnson (Robles 13), Poole, Holt, Hamilton & Flores
Subs: Keane (GK), Balogun, Purzycki & Barrigan
BFC – Lainton, Poscha, Gibson, Bourne, Dudley, Cameron, O’Brien, Tutte, Sedgwick, Thompson & Widdowson
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