03 November 2016 09:59
Sandbach United 1
Atherton Collieries 2
Sandbach United were knocked out of the Macron Challenge Cup on Saturday, in a 2-1 loss at home to Premier Division’s Atherton Collieries.
Atherton opened the scoring just after the half hour mark, with Sandbach’s Danny Bartle clinically levelling the scoring ten minutes later. However, Atherton replied with another goal of their own in the second half, leaving a tired Sandbach team unable to find the goal before the final whistle.
Early on, both teams were firing at goal but just could not open the scoring – Danny Bartle received the ball after a slick one-two, but his shot went over the bar by some distance.
Sandbach were holding their own against a team 26 places above them in the Hallmark Divisions and could have been winning.
On 24 minutes, Josh Lane slipped onto a defensive mistake, leaving him one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He saw the opened legs of the goalie and tried to pass it through them, however it didn’t work and the ball was gathered by the defence.
At the other end, Atherton’s Jordan Cover made it 1-0 after a fine low struck effort right on the edge of the box, against the run of play.
Right on 45 minutes, Danny Bartle found himself through on goal, his first shot, a spectacular overhead kick was denied by the keeper, but he made no mistake on the follow up, smashing the ball home to make the score level at half time.
After the break, Danny Bartle took matters into his own hands, after taking the ball into his stride he released a devastating effort from 30 yards, which cracked the under-side of the crossbar and then was cleared by the Atherton defence.
The speedster striker for Atherton, Jordan Cover, made it a brace as he flew past Kris Stockton and coolly rounded the Ryan Moss to take Atherton back into the lead after 51 minutes.
Chris Jackson came off to make way for Thomas Watkin, his 30-yard effort blazed over the bar which summarised a frustrating second half for Sandbach United.
After the game, Sandbach manager Andy Hockenhull said: “We needed to give Chris Jackson a game and we tried to play it through to him, however it didn’t quite work. We hit the bar and in the first twenty mins should’ve scored but we didn’t.”
When asked about Sandbach United’s season so far Andy Hockenhull said: “To have come from where we were, to where we are now, it’s amazing, absolutely amazing. Every one of them lads in the changing room deserve a pat on the back, they do everything for the club."
“Nathan Jones and Danny Bartle were wheeling away today and that is what we’re about, the attitude the team has is what we’re about. The subs aren’t fussing if they don’t come on, there is some great character in that dressing room. My priority is to get points, from the start of the season is was to stay up because we didn’t know what to expect. We got the right players in midfield and we got the quality in Josh Lane and Danny Bartle.”
“It’s just getting there, it’s slowly getting there, and Mike Senior and John Clayton are amazing for the club. “
Sandbach United would like to thank Planet Environmental, RK Henshall Insurance Brokers, Johnson The Cleaners, The Ganges and Grenville Engineering for their support.
Next Match: Sandbach entertain Stockport Town in The Reusch First Division Cup on Saturday for a 3pm kick off.
Photography: Kevin Warburton (view web site)