Colne on Top in Barlick Derby
By Dave Priestley
Colne came out on top in the local derby in their friendly against Barnoldswick Town at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.
Two goals by Alex Curran gave the Reds a first half lead and although Jack Coop pulled one back for Town early in the second half, ex-Barlick player Joe Gaughan scored Colne’s third late on to put the result beyond doubt.
Colne took the game to the visitors in the opening stages and Gaughan brought a great save from Town keeper Ryan Livesey after 12 minutes to push his shot over the bar. And the Reds took the lead two minutes later when Simon Nangle’s through ball sent Curran into the penalty area and he found the net with a chip over the advancing Livesey.
Colne pressed forward looked for further goals with Kyle Sambor and Luke Higham making inroads on the wings to stretch the Town defence. But after 26 minutes, the visitors came close to an equaliser when Elliott Firth’s run on the right wing set up Mark Threlfall with a clear sight of goal but he lifted his shot over the bar from a good opportunity.
But Colne enjoyed the lion’s share of the attacking play and Lee Pugh saw his shot blocked in the Town goalmouth before Sambor volleyed a shot off target from another chance. At the other end, Jonathan Hodgkinson did well to cut out the danger as Josh Steadman provided an inviting cross into Colne penalty area.
The Reds went further ahead after 38 minutes when Sambor’s low cross from the right wing reached Curran in a crowded goalmouth and he forced the ball home at the second attempt to double Colne’s lead. Further chances fell to Colne before the interval as the Reds looked worthy of their lead at half time.
Early in the second half, Waqas Azam broke down the right wing and his low cross found Sambor in front of goal but his shot was palmed away from the bottom corner in a great one-handed save by Livesey. And as play switched to the other end, Town caught the Reds on the counterattack as Coop took on two Colne defenders on the edge of the area and placed a shot just inside the far post to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
Town were lifted by the goal and looked for an equaliser and Threlfall saw his shot blocked in the Reds goalmouth after a low corner from the visitors. But Colne defended well and Hakan Burton made a brilliant one-handed save to keep out Firth’s goal-bound header after 69 minutes.
But as the game swung back in Colne’s favour, Nick McNally forced a good save from Livesey as he made his presence felt around the Town penalty area with some strong running. And the Reds made the game safe after 78 minutes when Azam’s cross found Gaughan for an excellent finish with a shot into the bottom corner of goal giving Livesey no chance.
A useful competitive game played out in good spirit as both sides build towards the coming season.