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First Team - Match centre

Atherton Collieries
G Webster (13'), S Sheen (82' Sent Off)
Full time
J Cover (59'), C Hughes (66')
Sat 6 Apr 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League - West Division Attendance 131

REPORT | Widnes 1-2 Atherton Collieries


10-man Widnes slip to home defeat

Sam Sheen saw red as Widnes slipped to a 2-1 home defeat to title chasing Atherton Collieries on Saturday.

George Webster had given Widnes a half-time lead but Atherton reversed the deficit in the second half with goals from Jordan Cover and Connor Hughes, before Sheen was shown a second yellow card late to condemn Widnes to a third straight league loss.

Co-bosses Steve Akrigg and Kev Towey made three changes to the side beaten at Prescot Cables last time out, with the suspended Mike Burke replaced by Danny Ventre, who captained the side.

GALLERY | Widnes v Atherton Collieries
76 photos

Elsewhere, Ben Hodkinson and Harry Brazel dropped to the bench as Webster and Niall Watson were preferred in the starting line-up.

Widnes started well and in truth, they controlled the first half in a performance at the Halton Stadium reminiscent of the previous two seasons. The Whites looked to use the size of the pitch and moved the ball around well to probe an Atherton side who struggled to adapt.

The title-chasing visitors were unusually flat in the first half, with Ben Hardcastle’s strike wide Colls’ only real sight of goal in the opening 45 minutes.

There was a real purpose about the hosts’ play. Ventre quarterbacked from the midfield while full-backs Shaun Holden and Jay Roberts found joy down the flanks.

Roberts would threaten for Widnes on 12 minutes, floating a cross into the area that narrowly evaded the head of George Lomax, forcing a corner that would lead to the Whites’ opener.

Finlay Sinclair-Smith’s corner was only half-cleared to Webster who collected the loose ball and coolly picked his spot to fire Widnes into a deserved lead.

A goal to the good, Widnes were in complete control, moving the ball about with relative ease as Atherton failed to trouble Owen Wheeler.

Widnes had further chances to increase their lead but struggled to work Colls keeper Greg Hartley who made a fairly routine save from Watson while Ventre flashed an effort wide.

Whatever was said at half-time in the Atherton dressing room seemed to breathe new life into the visitors who looked rejuvenated and a completely different side following the restart.

Michael Clegg’s men upped their intensity, and after Conor Gaul was tripped on the edge of the area by Sheen, Gareth Peet rattled the crossbar with a free-kick as Collieries showed their intent.

However, Widnes spurned a gilt-edged chance to increase their lead moments later, as the on-loan Blackpool youngster showed great footwork to cut inside and rifle an effort just over.

Clegg withdrew right-back Clive Smith for forward Tom Bentham as Colls tactically reshuffled to three at the back and Widnes looked to respond with the introduction of the energetic Hodkinson to lead the line.

But Colls hit back shortly before the hour-mark as Cover headed home unmarked from a Peet free-kick as Widnes were left to rue missed chances for a second successive week.

Clegg’s outfit were on top and looked to turn the screw as chances came and went, with Wheeler making a great save low to deny Peet cutting inside from the left.

Collieries’ period of sustained pressure paid off moments later as the visitors completed a seven-minute turnaround. Widnes cheaply lost possession and Atherton quickly launched a counter-attack with Dave Sherlock’s cross finding Hughes in the area, who took his time to apply a composed finish and slot the visitors into the lead.

Widnes looked to respond as Towey and Brazel came off the bench but it was Colls who enjoyed further chances with Hardcastle striking wide.

Sheen was shown a second yellow card eight minutes from time to deal Widnes’ chances of an equaliser a hammer blow, as he arrived late and brought down Hughes with a sliding challenge.

Hughes almost added a third for Atherton minutes later, but Wheeler produced a world class save to tip the forward’s effort that was seemingly destined for the top corner over the bar.

Widnes missed a glorious chance to equalise late on as Towey found the head of the unmarked Brazel six yards out, but the former Runcorn Town man could only nod straight into the grateful gloves of Hartley as Colls held on for an important three points.

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George Webster

Player of the Match

George Webster

Key moments

Goal George Webster scores for Widnes
Goal Jordan Cover scores for Atherton Collieries
Goal Connor Hughes scores for Atherton Collieries
Red Card Sam Sheen is sent off for Widnes

Videos and photos

GALLERY | Widnes v Atherton Collieries
76 photos


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90:00 Player of the Match
George Webster is awarded player of the match for Widnes
82:00 Red Card 1 - 2
Sam Sheen is sent off for Widnes
67:00 Sub Off
Sean Myler is substituted off for Widnes
67:00 Sub On
Harry Brazel is substituted on for Widnes
67:00 Sub Off
Niall Watson is substituted off for Widnes
67:00 Sub On
Kev Towey is substituted on for Widnes
66:00 Goal 1 - 2
Connor Hughes scores for Atherton Collieries
61:00 Yellow Card
Sam Sheen is yellow carded for Widnes
59:00 Goal 1 - 1
Jordan Cover scores for Atherton Collieries
57:00 Sub Off
George Lomax is substituted off for Widnes
57:00 Sub On
Ben Hodkinson is substituted on for Widnes
46:00 Kickoff
Atherton Collieries kick off
End of period 1
13:00 Goal 1 - 0
George Webster scores for Widnes
1:00 Kickoff
Widnes kick off
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Widnes
  • Atherton Collieries
  • 0
  • George Webster Goal 13:00'
  • George Lomax Sub Off 57:00'
  • Ben Hodkinson Sub On 57:00'
  • Jordan Cover Goal 59:00'
  • Sam Sheen Yellow Card 61:00'
  • Connor Hughes Goal 66:00'
  • Sean Myler Sub Off 67:00'
  • Harry Brazel Sub On 67:00'
  • Niall Watson Sub Off 67:00'
  • Kev Towey Sub On 67:00'
  • Sam Sheen Red Card 82:00'

Team selection

Wheeler, Owen Wheeler, Owen
Roberts, Jay Roberts, Jay
Holden, Shaun Holden, Shaun
Watson, Niall Watson, Niall
Sheen, Sam Sheen, Sam
Herbert, Joe Herbert, Joe
Webster, George Webster, George
Ventre, Danny Ventre, Danny
Sinclair-Smith, Finlay Sinclair-Smith, Finlay
Myler, Sean Myler, Sean
Lomax, George Lomax, George
Atherton Collieries
  • 1. Greg Hartley
  • 2. Clive Smith
  • 3. Gareth Peet
  • 4. Daniel Lambert
  • 5. Daniel Lafferty
  • 6. Ian Rowlands
  • 7. Ben Hardcastle
  • 8. Vinny Bailey
  • 9. Jordan Cover
  • 10. Conor Gaul
  • 11. Connor Hughes
  • 12. Matthew Grimshaw
  • 13. Tom Bentham
  • 14. Dave Sherlock
  • 15. James Kirby
  • 16. Chris Cheetham

League round up

Other West Division results

Kendal Town
Colwyn Bay
Runcorn Linnets
Ramsbottom United

League table

# Team Pl Pts
10. Kidsgrove Athletic 38 58
11. Colwyn Bay 38 52
12. Widnes 38 51
13. Chasetown 38 46
14. Droylsden 38 43
15. Newcastle Town 38 40
16. Market Drayton Town 38 40

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