Reds on Top in Boxing Day Derby
By Dave Priestley
Colne came out on top in the local derby at Clitheroe on Boxing Day in an end-to-end, action packed game
The Reds held a slender lead at half time but Clitheroe drew level and made them fight all the way for a deserved victory.
Colne opened brightly with some good attacks on the right wing and Josh Hine’s cross fell to Brad Lynch at the far post but his shot was blocked in the goalmouth by keeper Cameron Terry. The Reds suffered an early setback when Lee Pugh sustained a knee injury in a 50-50 tackle but the Colne defender managed to play on until just before the interval.
The Reds looked sure to take the lead after 16 minutes when Oliver Wood’s cross from the left wing fell perfectly for Hine coming in from the right but he volleyed the ball across the face of goal from a glorious opportunity. Four minutes later, Pugh’s cross from the left was headed out to Alex Curran and he drove a volley just over the Clitheroe bar as Colne kept up the pressure.
And the Reds had their reward after 23 minutes when Alex Coleman and Wood stretched the home defence with an exchange of passes before Lynch found the net with a dipping shot on the turn to give Colne the lead. And three minutes later, Lynch might have doubled his tally when Curran’s pass found him in the penalty area but he could only chip the ball into the arms of the keeper.
Clitheroe came back looking for an equaliser and forced a series of corners but the Reds defence stood firm and when Lewis Sugden tried his luck from a free kick on the edge of the area, Hakan Burton got down well to make a good save on the Colne goal-line.
A great end-to-end move just before half time by Lynch released Curran but his diagonal shot flew just wide of the far post. While at the other end, Billy Priestley made a vital tackle to block Hyuga Tanner’s shot in the Colne penalty area.
Colne were caught cold early in the second half when Tanner found the top corner of the net with a 25 yard shot that left Burton stranded to level the scores at 1-1 after 49 minutes. Seven minutes later, the Reds had a let-off when a quick break by Clitheroe found Max Hazeldine with a long ball down the middle and his first time volley bounced inches wide of the unguarded net.
Colne looked to restore their lead with some good attacks as Richie Baker and Marcus Poscha pushed forward from midfield and Curran and Hine came close from half chances. And the pressure paid off after 69 minutes when Coleman’s cross from the touchline beat the keeper all ends up and flew just under the crossbar and into the back of the Clitheroe net to restore Colne’s lead at 2-1.
Clitheroe came back looking for a second equaliser but left themselves exposed at the back and Colne cashed in when Hine’s forward run set up Curran in the penalty area and he finished with a shot under the keeper to put the Reds 3-1 up after 77 minutes and put the game out of Clitheroe’s reach.
An enthralling game to warm the crowd of over four hundred on a chilly Boxing Day afternoon and Steve Cunningham will look forward to facing Glossop North End at the Sovereign Play Stadium on New Year’s Day kick off 3pm.