Reds Run ends at Runcorn
By Dave Priestley
Colne’s unbeaten run came to an end at Runcorn Linnets on Saturday where Steve Cunningham’s injury hit side went down to a two goal defeat.
The Reds conceded twice in the second half and could not find a reply despite fighting to the final whistle in an end-to-end game.
Colne started brightly with some good midfield play and some promising attacks looking to find their new striker Mamadou Djabi up front. The first clear chance fell to Joe Gaughan after 12 minutes but his sidefoot shot was easily saved by keeper Dylan Forth in the Linnets goal.
As play swung to the other end, the Colne defence came under pressure from high crosses with Alex Coleman and Chris Lynch heading away from the danger area.
The Reds lost Djabi to an ankle injury after 22 minutes and was replaced by Connor Hughes. In Colne’s next attack Gaughan released Alex Curran on a run into the area but the keeper was off his line quickly with a tackle to deny the Reds midfielder in a one-on-one. Within a minute, Luke Higham sidestepped two defenders but saw his shot blocked in a crowded home penalty area as the Reds enjoyed a period of attacking pressure.
But at the other end, Paul Shanley met a diagonal free kick with a spectacular overhead kick that flew across the face of goal in a crowded Colne area. And in further attacks, Niall Watson and Kyle Hamid had shots just off target.
Colne came close after 35 minutes with a good build-up that saw Curran lay the ball off to Waqas Azam in the penalty area but he shot wide of the near post from a great opportunity. And with half time approaching, a low shot by Curran was pushed round the post by Forth and from the resulting corner, Jonathan Hodgkinson headed the ball down in the goalmouth but no team-mate was on hand to take advantage.
Linnets started the second half on the attack and after five minutes Colne lost captain Coleman from their defence who was injured while making a clearance. As the home side forced a series of corners, Azam cleared the ball from the danger area but on the hour, the Reds defence was unable to prevent Freddie Potter from opening the scoring when he swept home a cross from the left wing to give his side the lead.
As Colne looked for an equaliser, Matty Morgan made good runs on the right wing but his crosses were cleared from the home penalty area by a well organised Linnets defence. And after 70 minutes, Colne’s keeper Connor King made a brilliant double save from Potter when a second goal looked certain.
But the saves only brought a brief respite as three minutes later, an inswinging corner found the Colne net despite the efforts of King in a crowd of players at the near post to give Linnets a two goal advantage. Four minutes later, Runcorn came close again when Kurt Sherlock crashed a header against the Reds crossbar.
But Colne fought to stem the tide with Simon Nangle and Marcus Poscha battling in midfield and Brad Lynch causing problems for the home defence but Gaughan’s shot was well saved by Forth from Colne’s best effort in the closing stages.