Colne Blown Away as Linnets Fly High
By Dave Priestley
Colne crashed to a six goal defeat against top of the table Runcorn Linnets at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.
The Reds were hoping to gain ground in the leading pack of the Evo-Stik West but came out second best in a hectic wind affected game.
Runcorn took the lead after only eight minutes when Kristian Holt found the top corner of the Colne net with a curling shot that no keeper would have saved. As Runcorn kept up their attacks with some high balls into the area, Chris Lynch made good headed clearances and Waqas Azam blocked a goal-bound shot by Paul Shanley.
Colne came close to levelling the scores after 20 minutes when Kyle Sambor saw his close range shot blocked in the visitors goalmouth after an exchange of passes with Azam. But five minutes later, Linnets doubled their lead when Danny O’Brien’s low free kick to the far post was fired home by Freddie Potter from close range.
Things got worse for Colne on the half hour when a harshly awarded penalty gave Linnets the chance to extend their lead further and O’Brien converted from the spot for a three goal lead.
Five minutes later, Alex Curran found Azam in a good position but he shot just wide of the visitors’ goal and the Reds forced a series of corners in a good attacking spell.
Colne were given fresh hope three minutes before the interval when Curran’s high cross to the far post found the net off the fingertips of Linnets keeper Dylan Forth and the Reds looked forward to staging a revival in the second half.
But their hopes were dashed after 53 minutes when Connor McCarthy scored a fourth goal for Linnets from close range as Colne failed to clear a free kick from their penalty area.
Colne pressed forward with a series of promising attacks and a supply of dangerous crosses into the visitors’ penalty area. Connor Hughes’ cross found Sambor at the far post but his shot was blocked by defenders and Matty Morgan’s cross minutes later went begging across the Linnets goalmouth.
The visitors gave away a series of free kicks just outside their penalty area but shots by Hughes and Curran failed to find the net. And a glancing header by Bradley Knox from a Colne corner was saved by Forth on the line.
After 82 minutes, Linnets went further ahead when a late tackle in the Colne area gave them their second penalty of the game and O’Brien again converted from the spot for a 5-1 lead.
In the closing stages, Colne continued to look to reduce the deficit and Hughes forced a good save from Forth with a well struck 20 yard shot. But as the game went into injury time, Shanley broke through at the other end to round off the scoring with a sixth goal for Linnets in an emphatic win for the visitors.