Colne Getting Closer
By Dave Priestley
Colne moved closer to the play-offs with a hard fought win against second placed Radcliffe on Tuesday night at the Sovereign Play Stadium.
An Alex Curran goal after 13 minutes was enough to secure the points as the Reds defended well to deny their opponents any reward.
Colne started brightly and Brad Knox saw his well struck shot fly just over the bar after six minutes. But three minutes later, the Reds had a let-off when a searching cross by Lee Neville flew across their goalmouth only needing a touch to convert the chance.
After 13 minutes, a well worked move begun by Waqas Azam up the right wing and continued by Simon Nangle and Knox created a scoring chance for Curran and he found the far corner of the net with a 25 yard diagonal shot to give Colne the lead.
On the half hour, Brad Lynch went down in the box as he won the ball from Radcliffe keeper Oliver Martin but the referee awarded Colne just a corner. As the Reds continued to create chances, Azam and Curran exchanged passes before Curran’s goal-bound shot from inside the area was deflected wide off the body of a defender. From the resulting corner, Lee Pugh’s inswinger was pushed over the bar with a good save by keeper Martin.
As Radcliffe struggled to contain the Colne attack, Reece Webb-Foster put Lynch through in the area with a goal scoring opportunity but a defender got back to clear the ball from the six yard box.
As half time approached, Radcliffe threatened with some attacks at the other end and Craig Undfield’s goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Marcus Poscha to preserve the Reds lead.
As the second half began, Azam and Curran again combined on the right wing to carve out a chance but Curran shot across the face of goal from a good opening.
But Radcliffe looked increasingly dangerous as the half wore on and Scott Metcalfe forced a great save from Hakan Burton with a well struck free kick that was bound for the bottom corner of the Colne net.
After 68 minutes, the Reds came close when Pugh’s diagonal free kick into the area was dropped by the keeper under pressure and Webb-Foster's shot was cleared off the goal-line by a defender.
But Radcliffe pushed forward in search of an equaliser and some great defensive headers by Nangle and the Colne defence repeatedly cleared high balls from their penalty area. After 81 minutes, Burton fisted away Prince Haywood’s free kick from under his crossbar and Poscha completed the clearance from a crowded penalty area.
But as Colne brought on fresh legs from the subs bench, Webb-Foster released Matty Morgan for a run on goal and his angled shot brought a good save from Martin as the Reds looked to hit their opponents on the counterattack.
The final whistle came after seven minutes added time and was greeted with celebrations by the Colne faithful.