Atherton Collieries secured their first ever opening home league win since gaining Northern Premier League status with a 2-0 triumph against Bradford (Park Avenue) on Tuesday night.

In his post-match interview, manager David Chadwick spoke about the importance of getting points on the board.

And that intensity and desire to make progress was evident from the opening stages of the game as Nathan Caine, Harvey Gregson, Jordan Scanlon and Lewis Mansell all tested the Bradford defence.

It was Scanlon who caused the most headaches in the opening 20 minutes. First, he played a ball through to Caine that Park Avenue cleared under pressure before he was denied by the Bradford stopper after a smart ball through from Mansell.

It was third-time lucky, though, when the tricky forward received the ball on the edge of the area, twisted and turned before a gap opened up on, surprisingly, his weaker foot. Arguably, weak in name only, for Scanlon curled a skilled ball into the back of the net to hand Chadwick his first goal as Colls gaffer.

A few chances for Colls came and went, but Bradford could not relax.

Naturally, the Colls advantage spurred the visitors on and on 35 minutes, a ball was drilled across Atherton’s area and found a free Park Avenue head. It was a smart move that caught the Collieries off guard but Nico Defreitas-Hansen was on hand with cat-like reflexes to parry the ball away.

The second half required a deep defensive effort from those playing in black and white, though post-match Chadwick felt this was slightly too deep for his liking and as was maybe a result of early-season jitters - something, he says, needs to be worked on.

Despite this, everyone had confidence in the Colls defence, and the manner in which they kept Bradford at bay. Every attack was either cleared, headed away or saved by the sturdy hands of Defreitas-Hansen.

The visitors’ best chance came on 85 minutes as a long-range effort just skimmed the Colls bar, leading to huge relief for the majority of the 301 in attendance.

A spell of Bradford corners inside of the additional four added minutes increased the pressure on the backline.

However, as the clock ticked into the fourth minute, Atherton broke away and that man Scanlon sealed victory.

The forward carried the ball from midfield, kept calm and slotted into the back of the net and past the advancing keeper with a sea of black and white stripes following to support.

Two goals for Scanlon, two goals for Colls and the first three points of the Chadwick era in what was a fine performance from the black and white stripes - confident and creative going forward, sturdy at the back.

Scanlon, naturally, took the man-of-the-match acclaim but it was a team performance overall that won the day.

On Saturday, Colls host Warrington Rylands (3pm).