ATHERTON Town kicked off this year’s Bolton Hospital Cup with a 4-1 penalty shootout victory over Atherton Collieries after the game finished 1-1 at full time.

The Manchester League Division One side shocked their North West Counties League Division One neighbours to spark hopes of playing at the Reebok Stadium in the final.

Colls took the lead after 13 minutes when Town goalkeeper David Woodward fumbled a cross giving Kieran Halliwell a simple tap-in.

Visitors Town responded within a minute with a long-range shot from Hemsley Mills and then had to stand firm for the rest of the game as Colls dominated possession.

Colls centre half Chris Lawton had a disputed headed goal disallowed on 65 minutes before the shootout which saw Woodward emerge the hero with two fine saves and Jimmy McMullen, Tony Lancashire, Ryan Heapey and Dane Grimes all score for Town who will play the winner of Turton versus Breightmet United in the next round.

Colls secretary Emil Anderson said: “We’re disappointed because we wanted to play at the Reebok.

“And fair play to Atherton Town, they played well and deserved it.

“We’re doing quite well otherwise but if we want to conquer the world we’re going to have to conquer Atherton first.”