Match Report: Athersley Rec 1-2 Eccleshill United FC
The Eagles claimed their first three points of the season on Wednesday night, putting in a spirited performance away at Athersley Rec to run out 2-1 winners.
Athersley would see the first half chance of the game in the second half, but their midfielder blazed a shot well over the bar.
Following that chance, the game was very end to end, with neither side unable to really impose themselves on the game and retain possession.
Chris Lever had the first sniff at goal for The Eagles in the 15th minute, winning a big header from a corner which he couldn't direct goalwards.
A few minutes later Athersley would open the scoring, as their number seven reacted quickest to a deflected cross from the left wing to nod in from close range and put Eccleshill under pressure.
The Eagles reacted well to going behind and almost scored an equaliser in the 25th minute. Jassim Alali and Steve Hollingworth linked up well, the former was slid in by Hollingworth but the offside flag stopped him in his tracks.
In the 31st minute, the Eccleshill pressure finally paid off and Hollingworth was on hand to tap in his first goal for the club. Alali, Lever and the goalscorer were all involved in a fluid passing move which Hollingworth rounded off with an easy finish.
Hollingworth almost netted his second 12 minutes later when the ball broke to him on the edge of the box, but his instinct strike was flashed just wide of the far post, which was the last major action of the half.
Following a good passage of play, the first chance of the second half fell to Harrop. The winger couldn't convert with a first time strike however, curling it just wide of the far post from the left hand side of the box.
Dom Smith was called into action a few minutes later, and he reacted well, tipping a fierce deflected strike wide of his near post
Jake Thompson then flipped the game on its head, with a fantastic solo effort. The youngster picked the ball up on the right flank, cutting past one man and jinking past the other before drilling the ball high into the top corner from a tight angle to make it 2-1 to Sean Regan’s side.
The hosts were almost level a minute later, but their midfielder’s pile driver of a free kick rattled the crossbar and went out for a goal kick much to the relief of Smith in between the sticks.
For the remainder of the game there were waves of unrelenting Athersley pressure, but much to the delight of Sean, his side held firm and managed to weather the storm to see out a very hard fought victory.
Eccleshill managed to record their first three points of the season at a crucial time, as they now prepare to face strong promotion candidates Worksop Town this weekend, in what will be another tough test for Sean and his players.