by Richard Tigwell
Prescot Cables came into the weekend on the back of two good home performances that had produced consecutive victories, restoring the Pesky Bulls’ hopes of making the play-offs. However, they would have to settle for a share of the points as they were held to a one-all draw by league leaders Atherton Collieries on Saturday afternoon.
Cables were the better side throughout the first half and were rewarded for their impressive attacking intent when they took the lead through captain James McCullouch in the 18th minute. A wonderful free kick from Luke Griffiths was met with a towering header from the Cables skipper at the back post and found the bottom corner of the Colls net.
Atherton are league leaders for a reason and drew level on 29 minutes through Tom Bentham. After an initial shot was parried excellently by Ollie Taylor on to the post, the Cables defence seemed to switch off as Bentham was able to fire home the rebound.
That equaliser did not dampen the home side’s spirit, as they stuck to their game plan and were nearly rewarded for it. James Edgar had two good chances to put the hosts back in front, but his long-distance efforts were unable to seriously test the Colls ‘keeper. Jordan Southworth’s acrobatic overhead kick was also only narrowly over the bar.
The second half was a much scrappier affair as both sides went at each other’s throats searching for a winner. At times, Cables had to dig deep to keep the visitors out. McCulloch and Louis Coyne were commanding at the back, while the pace of Reece Fishwick was causing problems for the visitors going forward; a powerful shot from the right back struck the Atherton post on 50 minutes.
Cables were dealt a real blow when midfielder Aaron Turner was shown a second yellow card midway through the half. On a day of what could be described as ‘questionable’ refereeing decisions, both incidents were at best innocuous, reducing the hosts to ten men for the remainder of the game.
Both teams now chased a winner, with Atherton keen to exploit their numerical advantage. However, they did not have it all their own way. Luke Griffiths had a shot well blocked as did Josh Klein-Davies.
When Colls did threaten in the last ten minutes, ‘keeper Ollie Taylor was in excellent form, making two key saves as Cables held on for a point.
In the end a draw was probably a fair reflection on both sides’ efforts.
Cables XI: Taylor, Fishwick, McNally (Conte 81), McCulloch, Coyne, Turner, Southworth (Faux 76), Griffiths, Klein-Davies, Edgar, Dean