Saturday 3rd December 1994
|Great Harwood Town v LR||HT 1 - 2||FT 1 - 2|
A good result for Atherton, especially as the home side
were bursting with confidence having recently beaten league leaders Bamber
Bridge and Premier Division leaders Marine. LR started strongly, pushing
forwards and were rewarded after just three minutes when Jeremy Lord dribbled into
the area, found Dave Liptrott whose cross was headed in by Paul Moss. In the
30th minute Atherton scored the goal of the match. Stuart Humphreys made a superb 30
yard pass to Mark Stewart who put Kenny Quigg through. He rounded the keeper and
scored. Two poor decisions by the referee could have cost Atherton the match. Paul
Moss was through with only the keeper to beat and was flattened by the keeper, but
the referee waved play on. On 36 minutes Great Harwood were awarded a
corner and Atherton's keeper, Andy Hills, caught the ball. However, it was knocked out
of his hands by Stuart Farnell and turned in. Despite the protests from
Atherton, the referee allowed the goal.
In the second half the home side pressured LR's goal for much of the time and looked dangerous. Laburnums were restricted to a few break away attacks, but Stuart Humphreys and Paul Burrows caused problems for the home defence when they got the chance. There was a scare for Atherton with ten minutes remaining when Great Harwood's Peter Smith went over in the area and the referee waved play on. Possibly unfair, but it made up for the first half decision. The game caused more headaches for manager Dave Morris with Jimmy Evans suffering a recurrence of his thigh strain and Paul Moss suffering a dead leg.
LR - Andy Hills, Paul Kirwen, Jimmy Evans,
Ken Quigg, Andy Feeley, Mark Stewart, Paul Burrows, Jeremy Lord, Dave Liptrott,
Paul Moss, Stuart Humphreys Subs Chris Ree, Phil Donlan
Saturday 10th December 1994
|LR v Eastwood Town||HT 0 - 1||FT 1 - 4|
With four first team regulars out injured and
another three suspended, Atherton fielded a weaker team in this game. However, they
started well and Dave Liptrott was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when he was
brought down in Eastwood's area. In the 20th minute the entire Laburnums defence
and appealed for offside. While they stood around, Eastwood's Mark Richardson ran on
with the ball and scored. Atherton kept pushing forwards, with Donlan and
Liptrott creating half chances, but at half time they were
still 1-0 down.
The second half started badly. Stuart Humphreys received a second yellow card for a poorly timed challenge and was sent off. Eastwood’s Neil Illman scored directly from the resulting free kick. Everton Marsh and Mark Richardson made it 4-0 for Eastwood, then there more problems for Atherton. Andy Feeley made a great tackle to stop Richardson making it five, but the referee saw things differently and gave a penalty. The Laburnum players were furious and Ian Lloyd was sent off for complaining too much. That meant Atherton had had six players sent off in four weeks. Fortunately justice was done when Gray made a superb save from the penalty. The nine remaining Laburnum players worked hard and in the last minute scored a consolation goal through Dave Liptrott. Eight bookings and two sending offs in a match that was never dirty tells the story.
LR - Andy Gray, Mick Southern, Phil Donlan, Ken Quigg, Andy Feeley, Ian Lloyd, Paul Burrows, Jeremy Lord, Dave Liptrott, Paul Moss, Stuart Humphreys Subs Andy Noone, Steve Taylor
Eastwood - Richard Wilson, Les McJannett, Martin Connelly, David Clarke, Carl Flint, (Craig Bennett - see below), Richard Mellon, Everton Marsh, Neil Illman, Mark Richardson, Dave Brocklehurst Subs Richard Parkin, Shaune Browne, Mark Place
Note that in Eastwood's programme in January, they only list 10 players in their starting line up for this game. From reading round it would seem that Craig Bennett was the likely missing player, but I have no hard proof of that.
Saturday 17th December 1994
|Workington v LR||HT 1 - 0||FT 1 - 0|
Injuries and suspensions had reached such a
proportion by the time Atherton went to Workington that manager Dave Morris was forced
to put his name down as a substitute. In a howling gale and pouring rain LR
played well enough, but their short passes weren't proving much of a problem for
the home defence in the poor conditions. In the 20th minute Workington scored
what was to be the winning goal when a long ball from debutant Billy Askew caught the Laburnums defence
out and Martin Henderson ran on to score. Ten minutes later Ken Quigg had a good shot saved and
when a Workington defender quite plainly used his hand in the area, Atherton thought
they had a penalty, but the referee missed the offence and nothing was given.
In the second half Stuart Humphreys headed just over and Dave Liptrott had a shot well saved. However, although Atherton had a lot of possession, they lacked pace and didn't move forwards quickly enough, allowing the home side to defend in numbers. For Workington, Houghton had two opportunities to increase their lead, but missed them both. Although Atherton had a lot of possession they took ten passes to reach the half way line, so never progressed. Things weren't helped when Mick Southern had to leave the match in the 70th minute. Atherton didn't play badly, but seemed to lack the urgency required to win the game.
LR - Andy Hills, Mick Southern, Phil
Donlan, Rob Holgate, Andy Feeley, Jeremy Lord, Paul Burrows, Ken Quigg, Dave
Liptrott, Paul Moss, Stuart Humphreys Subs Chris Ree, Dave Morris
Monday 26th December 1994
|LR v Radcliffe Borough||HT 1 - 0||FT 3 - 1|
In very poor conditions both teams came storming
out looking to take an early advantage. Both Frankie Bunn and Levi Edwards came
close for Radcliffe in the early stages, however it was Atherton who scored first
in the 6th minute. Ken Quigg made a great run into the area and his shot hit the
post and came out for Dave Liptrott to score the opener. Liptrott and Pemberton
came close to adding a second before a mass brawl broke out on the pitch.
Radcliffe's forward, Frankie Bunn, elbowed Mick Southern and the fists went
flying. When the referee had finally got it sorted out, Bunn and Graham Haddon
from Radcliffe and LR's Ken Quigg were all sent off. Before the half was over
Tony Pemberton again forced a good save from the visiting keeper and Radcliffe's
Ian Lunt was unlucky when his shot came off the post, hit the other post and was
then collected by Andy Hills.
In the second half Radcliffe pushed hard and should have scored in the 50th minute when Lunt's long pass found Kilner who centred for Andy Graham, but his shot lacked power and was cleared of the line. However, it only took Radcliffe 15 minutes to equalise. A good move starting at the back ended with the Atherton defence getting into a muddle and being dispossessed by Lunt. His cross found Andy Brown who calmly hit home. Atherton regained their lead almost immediately as Dave Liptrott went past two defenders. Keeper Craig Nixon rushed out to try to claim the ball, but couldn't get a clean hold and Liptrott was able to pass to Paul Moss who slid the ball over the line. Liptrott and Jeremy Lord both went close for Atherton and Kilner and Lunt for Radcliffe. The visitors were awarded a free kick after Hills picked up a back pass from Andy Feeley, but the set piece came to nothing. However, in the 80th minute Atherton made the game safe when Steve Taylor made a powerful run, crossed in for Liptrott who in turn found Lord who knocked the ball in.
LR - Andy Hills, Mick Southern, Chris Ree, Rob Holgate, Andy Feeley, Paul Moss, Paul Burrows, Tony Pemberton, Dave Liptrott, Andy Noone, Ken Quigg Subs Jeremy Lord, Steve Taylor
Radcliffe - Craig Nixon, Danny Donachie,
Whittle, Ian Phillips, Brown, Levi Edwards, Frankie Bunn, Andy Graham, Graham Haddon,
Andy Kilner Subs Ian Lunt, Astley
An extra report for this game from the Radcliffe Times;
Boxing Day lived up to its name as a first half
free for all spoiled any chance of this match being a Christmas cracker. It was
red cards, and not the festive type, which referee Mr Belcher was handing out.
Frankie Bunn’s flailing arm was the signal for an ugly centre circle fisticuffs,
resembling a street brawl.
Kenny Quigg’s mindless charge into the melee was halted by Graham Haddon’s intervention, the pair then swapping punches for at least thirty seconds before joining Bunn for an early bath on the evidence of a linesman. The officials, I fear, won’t be on Kevin Glendon’s 1995 Christmas card list. Although there was no disputing the senseless actions of the dismissed threesome, the clash between Bunn and Mick Southern could have been averted.
Far from deteriorating, football quickly became the focus of attention although Southern and Ian Lunt’s running second half verbal battle threatened to light the fuse once again.
The teeming rain and mud heap of a pitch suited Atherton’s long ball style. Quigg’s departure, though, closing one avenue which brought the opening goal after six minutes. The midfielder’s run through the middle created a huge gap in the Borough rearguard. His toe-poke hit the post but Dave Liptrot tapped in the rebound. Bunn and Levi Edwards had both gone close before the opener, but it was Lunt’s arrival nine minutes after the fracas, which threatened to turn the tables the visitors way. Seconds after replacing full back Danny Donachie, Lunt’s right foot curler struck both posts before being smothered on the line by a relieved Andy Hills.
The substitute in an unchanged Radcliffe line-up, was the obvious danger man and his 50th minute pass was centred by Andy Kilner but Andy Graham’s weak finish was cleared off the line. Eight minutes later, Lunt took advantage of a mix-up on the right flank, squared the ball for Andy Brown who produced a calm finish to level the scores. Borough, despite their handicap, were now favourites, but Craig Nixon handed back the initiative to LR in the 61st minute when he raced off his line, spilled the ball and Paul Moss sidefooted Liptrot’s pass into an empty net. Andy Feeley rescued his side when Lunt’s slide saw the ball slip out of Hill’s grasp. The home pair were again the centre of attention when the goalkeeper was penalised for picking up a back pass, the former Bury man’s argument earning him a yellow card. The free kick came to nothing and it was left to Atherton to seal the points 14 minutes from time when Jez Lord clipped in his side’s third after David Bean and Ian Phillips had been left floundering by LR attackers.
Southern and Lunt continued to exchange compliments of the season while refereeing inconsistency was the only possible reason for Moss not becoming Boxing Day’s fourth victim when he trampled all over Brown after a late challenge. A yellow for the latter evened up those colours on a black day for football.
Back to Match Reports
Back to Menu