FA TROPHY glory was on Atherton Collieries’ minds as they travelled to divisional rivals Kendal Town and they returned home after securing a second qualifying-round tie with a 4-2 win.

Having scored six goals in their previous two games, Colls have rediscovered the scoring touch that was the hallmark of their recent historic progression to the Evo-Stik League Division One North.

Boss Michael Clegg kept faith with the starting team that had defeated Goole – and the atrocious weather – by the odd goal in five at the Kensite Stadium the previous week.

Recent wet weather in Cumbria saw Kendal’s home fixture with Hyde United postponed so it came as little surprise that the pitch, in the southern reaches of the Lake District was heavy.

The visitors were in danger of getting bogged down themselves as right-back Mike Aspin’s strike saw the visitors fall behind with just six minutes on the clock, sweeping in the rebound after Connon Gaul’s initial attempt had been blocked on the edge of the box.

Gaul threatened twice more, seeing a shot deflected away for a corner and his inswinging cross dropped just wide of Adam Reid’s right-hand post.

But Colls drew level on the quarter-hour mark, when Darrhyl Mason delivered a beautiful cross from the right that saw Ryan Salmon leap like his namesake and thump a header past Kendal goalkeeper Will Kitchen.

Ten minutes later Salmon made a keen break down the right-hand touchline, only to be crudely hacked down by Josh Wardle, who should consider himself lucky not to have been booked.

Their punishment arrived seconds later though, as Iain Howard sent the resulting free kick in to the area for Chris Lynch – playing at centre back in the absence of Jamie Forbes – to head home, having been virtually afforded the freedom of the Lake District by the home defence.

Howard curled a free kick just over the bar before the hosts came agonisingly close to an equaliser with four minutes of the half remaining.

Left back Ben Thomas cut inside on to his right foot and cracked a tremendous strike that smashed against the underside of Reid’s crossbar but bounced back in to play rather than over the line, Reid eventually easing the panic by saving Charlie Bowan’s overhead kick on the follow-up.

If that was a warning shot then it was not heeded, however, and the sides ended the half on level terms after all, as Paul Dawson curled an unstoppable stoppage-time strike into the top corner.

Clegg shuffled his pack with the introduction of Josh Messer for Richard Smith before bringing on Ashley Woods for Brad Cooke 10 minutes into the second half as he looked to regain the lead.

But it was the 74th-minute arrival of Jordan Cover that would eventually make the difference.

As the game entered the latter stages, Kendal cleared a corner only as far as Messer, who sent it back into the box with interest where it broke for Cover to show some neat footwork and flick the ball past Kitchen to put Colls 3-2 ahead.

Two minutes later victory was sealed as Cover again showed skills to fashion a chance for himself.

This time it was blocked but the ball fell for Ashley Woods and his shimmy create the space for him to fire past Kitchen for a fourth Collieries goal.

Yesterday’s second qualifying-round draw handed Clegg’s side a home tie, against Evo-Stik Premier Division opposition, Marine, who will visit the Kensite Stadium on November 11.