Atherton Collieries kicked off their pre-season campaign with a promising 2-1 victory against a Blackpool academy side at the Skuna Stadium on Saturday.

The game saw the debut of David Chadwick in the Colls dugout, alongside a host of new signings and trialists in what marks the start of an exciting new era in Atherton.

The first half saw Sidi Fofana, Jack Evans and Lewis Mansell make their first outings in black and white, with Colls unlucky to be behind at the break following a good start.

An incisive passing move down the right gave Blackpool the lead, the ball put on a plate for the frontman who poked past returning keeper Nico Hansen from close range.

Despite that, Colls threatened throughout the half, rattling the bar with a free-kick from deep with the lively number 11 trialist also denied one-on-one on two occasions.

Colls keeper Hansen was also called into action before the break, reacting well to turn a bouncing effort behind for a corner, with the resulting header skewed wide.

The second half saw a much-changed Colls XI, with new signings Josh Askew, Jordan Fagbola, Jordan Boon and Nathan Caine handed their first minutes.

The breakthrough for Colls came courtesy of an own goal five minutes into the half, Boon’s dangerous ball from deep forcing the defender to turn the ball beyond his own keeper in the 50th minute.

Two trialists combined for the second goal not long after, the impressive number eight dinking the ball through to the number 10, who finished with a delightful chip over the keeper on the hour mark.

Colls looked bright going forwards and could have extended their lead, a free-kick taken by trialist number 8 beaten away with the resulting rebound thwarted.

The final whistle brought victory for Colls but the performance will have been the most pleasing aspect for boss Chadwick and his staff as the team begins to take shape.

There were some important minutes in the legs and the early signs of a promising side being built at the Skuna this season.

Colls continue their pre-season preparations with a trip to Prestwich Heys on Saturday (3pm).