Oldham Boro 0 Atherton Colls 5
The opening game of 2015 saw Colls visit Mossley FC for a first league encounter at Seel Park since the 2003/04 campaign.
Ex-Alder House lodgers Oldham Boro now ply their trade at the picturesque setting and Michael Clegg’s men were hoping to complete a league double.
Colls started on the front foot and following a melee in the Boro penalty area. Kristian Holt narrowly missed the target from the edge of the box. Mark Battersby then dinked the ball over the bar from the right side of the penalty area.
Colls were dominating the early possession but Boro were well organised in defence. Colls’ nerves were calmed on 20 minutes.
Mark Truffas smashed a long-range effort against the bar and the ball fell sharply to Mark Battersby who sorted his feet out to tap in from six yards. Minutes later Truffas crossed from wide and Mark Adams diving header at the far post went narrowly wide.
Truffas then shot wide from distance following a neat Nathan Battersby set up. Boro nearly equalised with 10 minutes of the half remaining.
A searching free kick into the box was neatly nodded down and the ensuing shot rattled off the bar and into a grateful Danny Taberner’s glove. A lucky escape.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men when Michael Cheetham fouled Truffas on the halfway line. The challenge looked crude and after what seemed an eternity referee Scholes brandished the red card. In injury Colls surviving another scare when a free kick was headed straight into Taberner’s hands. In the second half Colls had nigh on absolute possession. The movement against the 10 men of Boro was excellent.
Plenty of chances were created and Holt, M Battersby and Robert Swanton had been foiled before Bradley Cooke reached double figures for the season. He was assisted by intricate approach play by Jake Kenny and M Battersby.
Truffas was again foiled by a great point blank save by Adam Read.
It was 3-0 on 63 minutes. Boro cleared to the edge of the box straight to Josh Messer who produced the pass of 2015 to set up M Battersby to finish easily.
Truffas shot was then spilled straight to Ben Hardcastle to score. Truffas eventually got a deserved goal with five minutes remaining.
Having had about 10 pops from 25 yards without success his finish was from inches out after a Holt cross.
A fine display to shake off the Christmas cobwebs. Boro never gave up and their endeavour and workrate especially in the second half when numerically disadvantaged deserves great credit.
Colls are away to Widnes in the league on Saturday.