Reds Rise to Third
By Dave Priestley
Colne moved up to third in the league with their second win in seven days at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.
But once again the Reds subjected their supporters to a nail-biting finish as Colwyn Bay fought back from 3-0 down to score two in the last ten minutes.
The visitors began brightly and Danny Andrews’ free kick into the Reds penalty area was headed away by Billy Priestley before Lassana Mendes fired a shot just over the bar from the follow-up. As play swung to the other end, Lee Pugh’s long throw created danger in the Colwyn Bay goalmouth and keeper Andy Coughlin did well to block Ollie Wood’s close range shot before Brad Lynch volleyed the half clearance just over the bar.
In the end-to-end action, Alex Coleman was on hand to clear the danger when Craig Pritchard and James Barrigan combined to create a goal scoring chance in the Colne penalty area. After 22 minutes, a diagonal ball up the left wing released Lynch for a run to the bye-line and his low cross into the goalmouth was laid back by Wood for Matty Morgan to fire into the bottom corner of the net to give Colne the lead.
As the visitors came back strongly Will Bell saw his shot deflected just wide of the Colne goal in a crowded goalmouth. And Mendes missed a golden opportunity on 40 minutes when a low cross reached him at the far post and he fired over the bar with the empty net in front of him.
Colne pressed forward in the second half looking to increase their lead and Lynch came close with two shots as he got round the back of the visitors defence on the left wing. After 53 minutes, the Reds went further ahead when Coleman made a run on the right wing and his high cross fell to Lynch at the far post who drove in a low shot from a tight angle to double their lead.
On the hour, another good move by the Reds produced a third goal when Richard Taylor found Morgan on the right and his high cross was headed home by Wood at the far post. As Colne continued to attack, Lynch saw his shot blocked in the visitors goalmouth before Pugh’s follow-up flashed just wide of the far post.
But after 68 minutes, Colne were reduced to ten men when Taylor was sent off for his second yellow card. The Reds reorganised and still looked in control with Dominic Kerrigan making good runs on the right wing and Krishnan Patel shot just wide from a low cross.
But the visitors were given fresh hope when Tom McCready pulled a goal back with a speculative shot from outside the area after 82 minutes. And as Colwyn Bay raised their game, they tested the Reds defence with some strong attacking play in the closing stages. But their shooting from long distance failed to trouble Hakan Burton in the Colne goal until they won a corner three minutes into injury time. Alex Downes rose high at the near post to flash a header into the roof of the Colne net to reduce the arrears to 3-2.
But it was too late to affect the outcome of the game as the Reds ran out worthy winners despite the late setback.