Report: Atherton Collieries 1-1 Warrington Town

Isaac Buckley-Ricketts’ late goal kept Warrington Town’s unbeaten run going with a 1-1 draw at Atherton Collieries.

In snowy conditions at Skuna Stadium, it looked like a leggy Yellows performance was going to be punished by a freak goal that Jay Fitzmartin scored direct from a corner.

But Buckley-Ricketts managed to bundle a cross home to extend the unbeaten run to eight games and maintain fourth spot in the league.

There was doubt over whether the game would be played due to the freezing conditions, but despite a few short flurries of snow in the build up to the game, the pitch held out.

It turned out to be the floodlights that posed any risk to the game being completed, when half briefly went off midway through the first half.

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That provided some light relief to a slow first half where the Yellows controlled possession and territory without really creating a great deal.

A smart first touch by Josh Amis in the box created space for a chance, but his shot was comfortably saved at the near post by Nico Defreitas-Hansen. Defreitas-Hansen’s brother Luca at centre half was probably the stand out player in the first half as he kept Amis quiet, and even the addition of Jordan Buckley in the second half couldn’t prise open the Colls back four.

The hosts only real looks at goal came towards the end of the first half, with Evan Gumbs getting back to stop a Scott Bakkor shot in the goalmouth and then Bailey Thompson’s header from Jay Fitzmartin’s ball in was straight at Tony Thompson.

Either side of those chances though, only a superb tackle by Joel Amado denied Matty McDonald a golden chance in the box and right before the half time whistle, McDonald’s shot bounced awkwardly in front of Defreitas-Hansen and was shovelled behind for a corner.

Although Colls appeared to come out with more intent in the second half, the game soon went in to a similar pattern.

Dec Walker had a free-kick tipped wide before he was forced to concede a corner from a cross, and from it, Fitzmartin managed to curl it under the cross bar despite the best efforts of Luke Duffy on the back post.

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That gave the hosts something to protect, and it was familiar territory for them – five of their six home league games before this one had finished 1-1.

And that indeed was how this one would end. Mitch Duggan, a half time substitute for Tom Hannigan, had earlier hit the bar with a looping header, and it looked for a while like time would run out.

But Williams’ cross was diverted home by Buckley-Ricketts for his fifth goal of the season and a point was saved, making it the same score as the reverse fixture back in August.

The Yellows are next in action at home to Whitby Town on Saturday.

Atherton Colls: N Defreitas-Hansen, Smith, Amado, Pettifer, Lafferty, L Defreitas-Hansen, Kershaw, Hardcastle, Bakkor, Fitzmartin (Esobelle), Thompson (Rooney). Unused subs: Brown, Lenehan, Peet.

Warrington Town: Thompson, Walker, White, Hannigan (Duggan), Gumbs, McDonald (Clarke), Buckley-Ricketts, Williams, Amis, Dixon, Duffy (Buckley). Unused subs: Harris, Mols.

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