Reds Edge Out Stylish North End
By Dave Priestley
Colne came out on top in their friendly on Wednesday night against a useful Preston North End side containing a mixture of young and experienced players.
The Reds had to come back from a goal down but finished on top thanks to another goal by Nicky McNally and a strike by a trialist midway through the second half.
Colne looked the stronger side in the opening stages and carved out a series of chances. Alex Curran fired just over the bar from a good opportunity after only four minutes and ten minutes later, Trialist saw his close range shot come back off the near post after Leon Creech crossed from the bye-line.
At the other end, Hakan Burton showed good handling in the Colne goal while Jonathan Hodgkinson and Waqas Azam made solid clearances on the edge of their penalty area.
But Colne looked the more likely to open the scoring and after another excellent Creech cross was headed behind by Andy Boyle on 22 minutes, the resulting corner fell to Trialist in the goalmouth but he lifted his shot over the bar from close range.
On the half hour, the Reds were caught on the break when Ethan Walker broke down the left wing and hurdled a despairing tackle by Hodgkinson before supplying a low cross for Connor Simpson to dispatch into the bottom corner of the Colne goal to give Preston the lead.
Preston were lifted by the goal and looked confident with some possession football to maintain their lead at the half time interval.
As the second half began, Preston pushed forward with Michael Howard supplying good crosses from the right wing and Simpson headed just wide from a good chance. A series of corners were cleared by the Colne defence as the visitors looked dangerous.
But as the half wore on, the game swung in Colne’s favour and the Reds began to create chances with Lee Pugh and Danny Pilkington providing inviting crosses into the opposition penalty area. After 72 minutes, Azam broke down the right wing and his cross to Anthony Lynch was laid back for McNally to blast home a low shot from 20 yards and level the scores at 1-1.
Three minutes later, Pugh did well to reach a long ball down the left and help it on to McNally on the edge of the area. His low cross found Jack Lynch who the laid the ball back to Trialist who found the bottom corner of the net with a low shot to give Colne the lead at 2-1.
The Reds held on to the lead comfortably to record their second win over a league side in five days and will take many positives from their performance in this game.