Tuesday 14th January 1997
|Chorley v LR||HT 0 - 0||FT 1 - 2|
Despite a run of four consecutive League defeats,
Atherton's cup form continued with this excellent victory in the Lancashire
Challenge Trophy over Premier Division opposition. Chorley had ex-York City player Ian Blackstone in their side,
while Atherton featured the debut of Darren Royle, son of Joe Royle. A good
performance by LR, giving fans more cause to wonder why the team couldn’t win in
the league. The best from either side in a first half which saw a number of half
chances at both ends, was a Mark Stewart free kick after home keeper Simon Marsh
handled outside the area. A powerful strike by Stewart stung the hands of Marsh.
Chorley took the lead in the 48th minute when an Atherton attack broke down. The ball was pumped quickly upfield by Marsh, catching the Laburnums defence out and Ian Blackstone ran through to score (It should be said that while Blackstone was credited with the goal, an Atherton supporter who had watched York City a number of times said that it definitely wasn't Blackstone who scored). In the 65th minute a good passing move between Burrows and Stewart ended with the ball reaching Lee Cryer who twisted and turned the defence before sending a cross into the area where new signing Darren Royle set up Gavin MacDonald to score. With just fifteen minutes remaining Royle ran into the area before being pulled down from behind and Mark Stewart converted the penalty.
Team - Andy Hills, Mick Southern, Simon O’Brien, Ken Quigg, Steve Iley, Mark Stewart, Paul Burrows, Darren Royle, Lee Cryer, Gavin MacDonald, Paul Griffin Subs Neil Wright, Gary Cowburn, Jonathan Dunne
Saturday 18th January 1997
|Worksop Town v LR||HT 1 - 0||FT 2 - 2|
The game started at a furious pace, new signing
Darren Royle headed a Mark Stewart cross against the bar. In the 15th minute
Worksop took the lead following a goalmouth scramble. Lynden Whitehead scored
and Andy Hills was left complaining that the Worksop player was offside.
Laburnums best chance in the first half came from Lee Cryer whose header went
Atherton stepped up a gear for the second half and were rewarded when Lee Cryer equalised in the 67th minute. His reputation as a goalscorer had obviously gone before him and he'd received some rough treatment, but he intercepted a back pass from the Worksop Captain on the edge of the area and rounded the keeper to score from a tight angle. Just three minutes later Worksop went ahead again. A sustained attack on the Atherton goal saw the ball cleared three times before Worksop's Danny Campbell put the ball in. With five minutes remaining LR equalised. A long goal kick from Andy Hills was picked up by Lee Cryer and he chipped the ball in over the head of keeper Jamie Holmeshaw from 25 yards.
Team - Andy Hills, Mick Southern, Simon O’Brien, Ken Quigg, Steve Iley, Mark Stewart, Paul Burrows, Darren Royle, Lee Cryer, Gavin MacDonald, Paul Griffin Subs Neil Wright, Steve Saunders, Dominic Hoyle
Tuesday 21st January 1997
|LR v Witton Albion||HT||FT 2 - 1|
Atherton filled a blank week with a home friendly against Premier Division side Witton Albion. Paul Griffin and Tony Pemberton scored for Atherton, the latter making his first appearance after a long lay off through injury. Also making his debut was new signing Martin Haley, a goalkeeper who had played at Wigan Athletic.
Saturday 25th January 1997
|Lincoln United v LR||HT 1 - 1||FT 3 - 1|
With Steve Hilton returning to Laburnums, the
team had a good start, Darren Royle having a shot cleared off the line and Paul
Griffin's 20 yard shot went just wide. In the 17th minute Atherton took a
deserved lead when Mark Stewart’s cross found Lee Cryer in the area. Seven
minutes before half time, LR conceded the equaliser when, as so often this
season, a corner was poorly defended and Mark Trotter was left unmarked to head
Just six minutes into the second half tragedy struck for LR when Paul Burrows went in for a challenge and the sound of his shin breaking was heard all around the ground. Play was held up for 30 minutes while he received treatment and was then taken to hospital. He was out for the rest of the season and after a number of years excellent service, didn’t play for the club again. That took the wind out of Laburnums sails and Lincoln took over as the stronger side. They took the lead in the 56th minute through Tony Simmons and 20 minutes later were awarded a penalty, Simmons scoring from the spot.
Team - Andy Hills, Steve Hilton, Simon O’Brien, Neil Wright, Steve Iley, Paul Burrows, Mark Stewart, Tony Pemberton, Lee Cryer, Darren Royle, Paul Griffin Subs Mick Southern, Gavin MacDonald, Steve Saunders
Tuesday 28th January 1997
|Harrogate Town v LR||HT 1 - 1||FT 2 - 1|
LR went out of the Division One Trophy in the
second round. Atherton started well despite five first team regulars being
unavailable through injury or suspension. Home keeper Wayne Baker made an
outstanding save from Lee Cryer in the opening minutes. However, Atherton took the
lead in the 30th minute when Tony Pemberton made a strong run before crossing in
for Dominic Hoyle to head home. Atherton came close to adding to their total a
number of times, but five minutes before the break Paul Cygan chipped the ball over
Andy Hills for Harrogate to level the game.
Baker played well for Harrogate, making a good save from Steve Saunders after Lee Cryer had provided the cross and cleared a number of other attacks. However, Harrogate went through to the next round when a long ball was pumped into the Atherton area and Cygan managed to get a foot to it to steer it home.
LR - Andy Hills, Neil Wright, Simon O’Brien, Ken Quigg, Steve Iley, Steve Hilton, Dominic Hoyle, Tony Pemberton, Lee Cryer, Steve Saunders, Paul Griffin Subs Martin Hayley, Gary Cowburn, Neil Fairclough
Harrogate - Wayne Baker, Gary Lormor,
Brian Duffy, Lee Harper, Sean Pallant, Paul Cygan, Mark Watkinson, Jim Lagan,
Elliott Beddard, Jamie Smith, Eammon Elliott Subs Richard Ward, Mark
Smitheringale, Pat McDaid
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