Atherton LR 2 AFC Darwen 2
Under their new management team of Ross McNair, Steve Pilling and Steve Rothwell, Atherton LR opened impressively with a four point haul from their first two games against fancied sides Hanley Town and Darwen. Laburnums roared back from 3-1 down with twenty minutes remaining against Hanley to secure a remarkable 5-3 victory, goals from Mark Adams (2), Jon Stephenson, Josh Melling and Tom Darby.
In the follow-up midweek match it was LR’s turn to open a two goal lead, scoring inside twelve minutes as the in-form Adams capitalised on a moment of foolhardiness by Darwen keeper Tom Fradd to loft the ball home from the edge of the box. After weathering some Darwen pressure, LR extended the advantage when the impressive Ash Farlow beat the offside trap and smashed the ball home, but Darwen had pressed strongly and had a swift response through Ryan Steele’s penalty. The equaliser came when Steele’s shot from a tight angle deflected in despite the despairing stretch of Craig Boothby - the LR defender playing his 100th game for the club.
On Saturday 16th LR are at home to Staffordshire side Eccleshall, 3pm at Crilly Park.