Colne Strike a Rich Seam at Colls
Colne dug deep to claim a memorable victory at Atherton Collieries on Saturday as Chris Lynch and Matty Morgan scored two second half goals in a hard fought game.
The Reds had been under pressure in the first half but showed their character with a fine defensive display that provided the springboard for the win.
Colne included their two recent signings Waqas Azam from Chorley and Bradley Knox from Clitheroe and both players played a vital part in the win.
After an even start, Atherton began to get on top and Colne were forced to defend a series of corners. Darrhyl Mason began to create chances with his speedy runs on the left wing and Ben Hardcastle forced a good save by Hakan Burton to push his shot round the post after 20 minutes. Two minutes later, Jonathan Hodgkinson made a great tackle to deny Seb Julian as he jinked his way into the Reds penalty area and as Colls pressed forward, Burton did well to claim the ball at Ian Howard’s feet in another dangerous raid by the home side.
After 26 minutes, Hardcastle missed a great chance when he headed across the face of the Colne goal from a far post opportunity created by Mason’s cross. And within two minutes, Reds keeper Burton made a great save to keep out Julian’s point blank header as Colne defended in depth and Burton was again in action to dive at the feet of the same player as he slipped through the Reds defence.
Towards half time Colne began to build some good counterattacks with Alex Curran rolling a shot just wide and Danny Wilkins blasting over the bar from a half clearance following Morgan’s cross. The Reds almost took a surprise lead after 38 minutes when Morgan’s corner was headed down in the home penalty area and Hodgkinson’s shot was blocked by the keeper before Simon Nangle’s follow-up was cleared from the goalmouth by the home defenders.
Colne emerged for the second half in a more determined mood and pressed forward with some good runs by Ollie Crankshaw stretching the Colls defence. After 64 minutes, Nangle’s looping header was pushed over the bar by Colls keeper Adam Reid and from the resulting corner played in low, Lynch side-footed the ball home to give the Reds the lead.
Atherton pushed forward looking for an equaliser but great defensive work by Hodgkinson and Lynch backed by some reliable goalkeeping by Burton kept them at bay. And Colne doubled their lead after 78 minutes with a swift counterattack that had the home defence backpedalling before Morgan fired home into the bottom corner of the net for the Reds second goal.
Colne might even have made it three in the closing minutes when Wilkins’ low cross found Curran in space but Reid did well to block his shot in a one-on-one. The Reds ran out worthy winners against a side which has hitherto been their bogey team and will be glad of the three points to lift them up the table at the start of the festive season.