Atherton Collieries added further minutes to the bank with another hard-fought pre-season test against 1874 Northwich on Tuesday night, finishing with a 1-1 draw following a promising performance.

Throughout the first half, Nathan Caine and Josh Askew once again showcased what is developing into an exciting partnership along the left flank, with Caine coming closest to opening the scoring from a trialist’s cross into the box, drawing a smart stop from the home stopper.

The opening goal soon came through Caine. The ’74 defence failed to adequately clear a Jordan Boon cross into the penalty area, with Caine comfortably collecting the loose ball and left with what he turned into a simple task of placing home from a dozen yards out.

Following a first half in which the Colls controlled the majority of play, the second developed into a much scrappier affair.

The game became stop-start as the Collieries’ physicality and resilience were tested against uncompromising opposition.

Ten minutes into the second stanza, 1874 were gifted an equaliser as an Adam Rooney back-pass from outside of the box took an unfortunate bobble over the foot of the trialist Colls stopper resulting in an own goal that was harsh and highly unfortunate for all involved.

As the Colls began to rotate and experiment with substitutions, 1874 started to maintain their first spell of control over the game during the middle of the second half, recording their only shot on goal from distance with 20 minutes remaining.

In the dying embers, the Colls regained their foothold and began to push on for a winner.

Another trialist, Jesse Ebosele and Jordan Scanlon all provided forward reinforcements as the Stripes put the Greens under the cosh, however ultimately the late pressure was to no avail.

Next up, on Saturday, the Black and Whites are back on the road to 1face another Northern Premier League First Division opponent in the shape of Trafford (3pm).