Colne Take All Three Points at Clitheroe
Colne kept their play-off hopes alive with a stirring performance against local rivals Clitheroe at Shawbridge on Thursday night.
The Reds needed to win to keep in touch with the leading pack in the league and knew that nothing less would do.
They got off to a great start when Alex Curran gave them the lead with a low shot from a narrow angle into the bottom corner of the net after only two minutes. As Colne pushed forward at every opportunity, they looked like adding further goals with Curran and Matty Morgan making scintillating runs to open up the Clitheroe defence.
But as Clitheroe looked for an equaliser, Hakan Burton did well to save Kurt Willoughby’s 25 yard free kick which he held just under his crossbar. And Burton denied Ross Dent with a good save at his near post from a close range shot.
After 25 minutes, Harry Pratt won the ball in midfield before his shot was deflected wide of goal. From the resulting corner by Simon Nangle, Jonathan Hodgkinson headed home at the near post to double Colne’s lead.
Again at the other end Willoughby tested Burton with shots that were on target but the Reds keeper proved equal to the task. And Hodgkinson made a great tackle to deny George West as the ball fell to him on the edge of the Colne area.
The Reds might have gone further ahead after 36 minutes when Curran had the home defence in all sorts of trouble before he laid on a glorious chance for Pratt but the Colne centre forward saw his close range shot blocked by Chris Thompson in the Clitheroe goal. And as Colne pressed forward again, Thompson denied Curran with a good stop at his near post as the young striker burst into the penalty area.
With half time approaching, Jacob Gregory’s free kick found Michael Samson at the far post but his header was well saved by Burton in the Colne goal. While at the other end Andy Hollins met a low corner from Nangle only to see his close range shot cleared off the Clitheroe goal-line by defenders.
Seven minutes after half time Colne went further ahead when Curran found Morgan out on the left wing and he finished his run into the penalty area with an angled shot into the bottom corner of Thompson’s net for the Reds third goal.
Two minutes later, Willoughby reduced the deficit for Clitheroe when he fired home from close range in a crowded goalmouth. But Clitheroe received a setback after 65 minutes when Samson was sent off for his second yellow card for pulling back Danny Wilkins as he broke clear up the wing.
The ten men of Clitheroe battled hard but failed to find a way through Colne’s defence and the Reds might have added further goals in the closing stages with Bradley Knox prompting some good attacks and Wilkins shooting just wide of the far post from a great chance.