|Posted on January 14, 2012 at 7:35 PM|
This weekend's game against Eccleshall marks the halfway point of the league season for Colls, so now would be an appropriate time to look back at the first half of the season.
Following our high scoring pre-season campaign against admittedly very poor opposition, our league season kicked off at home to new boys Northwich Villa. An unknown quantity with close links to Northwich Victoria, Villa were a potential banana skin on opening day. Colls need not have feared, as they beat them 5-1. The Manchester riots proved a problem for Colls' away fixture as it resulted in there being no goalkeeper available for the trip to Formby. A 3-0 defeat resulted, but Colls could have had David Seaman and Peter Schmeichel (in their prime) between the posts, and would still have lost to a superb Formby side. The following Saturday, a trip to Cheadle Town saw Colls come away with a 2-2 draw that they would have felt disappointed with.
The "FA Cup with Budweiser" kicked off at Alder House with a 4-0 thrashing of Irlam. This was followed by a 2-1 home defeat to Chadderton. A 4-0 win at Eccleshall with a vastly depleted squad put Colls back on track, before going out of the FA Cup at Squires Gate. Two more narrow league defeats followed; a home reverse (1-2) against Wigan Robin Park and by the odd goal in seven against Nelson at Little Wembley.
Victory at home to Oldham Boro by the odd goal in five was followed by a cup exit in the Charity Cup against Hindsford. This was followed by the short trip to Crilly Park for the FA Carlsberg Vase tie against local rivals Atherton Laburnum Rovers. Although I saw it with my own eyes, I still cannot believe how a team can so completely dominate a match and still end up losing 3-2 in extra time. This travesty was followed by a sweet 4-3 win in the League Cup at Formby on an unbelievably hot October day.
The Lancashire Co-Operative Challenge Trophy started and ended for Colls at home to Padiham. The match finished 2-2 but Colls were poor in the penalty shoot-out, losing it 4-1. Back to league action and a trip to Northwich Villa provided some relief as Colls completed the double with an identical 5-1 scoreline. Another win- this time by the odd goal in five at Rochdale Town- followed to give Colls' season a timely boost.
Brent Peters' Bacup Borough beat Colls 2-0 at Alder House to send them out of the League Cup, before a crushing 4-1 defeat at promotion rivals Wigan Robin Park on Bonfire Night turned an uphill struggle into a mountain to climb for their promotion hopes. Dissent in the ranks in that game had left a bitter taste, but the ship was steadied with a 1-1 draw at Ashton Town.
A superb 5-0 win at home to Holker Old Boys demonstrated what could be done despite Paul Shanley's exit from the club. A Simon Howard penalty stole all three points in a scrappy 1-0 win on a dreadful surface at Oldham Boro to give Colls a sniff of the upper reaches of the league tables. A 3-1 win at home to AFC Darwen continued their resurgence. The defence of the First Division Trophy started and ended at Alder House, with Irlam exacting revenge for defeat in the semi-final last term to progress with a 2-0 win. Postponements galore throughout December and January mean that only one game has been played since; a 1-1 draw on Boxing Day at local rivals Daisy Hill.
With 16 league games played, 27 points isn't too far behind promotion form, but it is very tight this time around and with teams having played vastly different numbers of games, Colls will need a winning start to 2012 to stand a chance of achieving their goal.
A belated Happy New Year to everyone. Enjoy your football and thankyou for supporting your local team.
COME ON COLLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!