Colne Up To Third after Great Win
By Dave Priestley
Colne moved up to third place just one point behind Atherton Collieries in a game of two halves at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.
The Reds dominated play in the first half taking a two goal lead and looked on course for a comfortable win but the visitors came back strongly as an attacking force in the second period to keep the result in doubt until the final whistle.
Colne forced a corner with their first attack of the game and took full advantage when Colls failed to clear the resulting cross from their goalmouth and new signing Dominic Kerrigan fired the loose ball into the roof of the net from the edge of the area to give the Reds the lead.
Colne came close again after 11 minutes when Ben Barber’s low cross from the left wing was met by Alex Curran but the ball flew just wide of the far post of the visitors goal. Three minutes later, Kerrigan saw his shot blocked in the penalty area after a good exchange of passes with Connor Hughes.
At the other end, the Reds conceded a free kick on the edge of their own penalty area but the defensive wall did its job and Tom Bentham fired his shot high over the bar from the rebound. And minutes later, Jonathan Hodgkinson made a vital clearance to head clear a dangerous cross from the Colne goalmouth.
But Colne looked the more dangerous side with some great build-ups on the wings and on the half hour, Matty Morgan’s cross was knocked behind his own goal by Danny Lafferty. And from the resultimg corner, Simon Nangle’s header fell to Curran who forced a great save from Colls keeper Dave Latham with a well struck shot.
After 35 minutes, Brad Lynch got to the bye line and delivered a high cross for Curran to send a looping header over Latham and into the top corner of the net to double Colne’s lead. And three minutes later, Lynch forced a good save from Latham as the Reds looked for further goals.
But five minutes before half time, Atherton got themselves back into the game when Tom Bentham headed home from close range from a corner kick to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
As the second half began, Atherton pushed forward and Ben Hardcastle forced a good save from Hakan Burton with a well struck shot. Colne’s defence were tested by a series of attacks but once again they were well organised and their defensive wall stood firm to keep out free kicks. Morgan did well at wing back to cut out the threat of Gareth Peet in some dangerous attacks on the left wing by the visitors and Alex Coleman marshalled the defence to soak up the pressure from Colls who clearly sensed an equaliser was on the cards.
Ramirez Howarth made his debut for Colne in midfield and showed some neat touches almost setting up a chance for Brad Lynch with a great diagonal ball into the area and Marcus Poscha came on from the subs bench in the later stages to strengthen the Reds defence.
Colls had loud claims for a penalty in a goalmouth scramble midway through the half but minutes later, Lynch was brought down at the other end of the field for what looked a certain penalty and the referee waved aside both appeals.
Colls threw everything forward in the six minutes of injury time but Colne were in no mood to let the lead slip and celebrated the hard won three points after an enthralling game.