Colne Cruise to the Quarter Finals
By Dave Priestley
Colne progressed to the quarter final of the Lancashire FA Trophy with a comfortable win against North West Counties First Division side Longridge Town on Wednesday night.
. The Reds had to come from a goal behind but established a 3-1 lead by the interval and rarely looked in danger in the second half.
The game began in competitive style as both sides looked for an early goal with Brad Lynch and Ollie Wood creating half chances in the home penalty area and an inviting cross by Richard Taylor going begging across the Longridge goalmouth.
But after eight minutes, the Reds were caught out by a curling ball by Tom Ince towards the far post where it was volleyed home by Paul Turner to give the home side the lead.
As Colne looked for a quick reply, Lynch cut inside from the left wing and saw his goal-bound shot well saved by Lee Dovey in the Longridge goal. And as the Reds continued to attack, they drew level on 17 minutes when Lynch’s cross from the bye-line was headed home at the far post by Wood.
Five minutes later, Wood caught the home side napping as he won the ball off a defender and as he took it past the keeper he was brought down for a penalty. Wood converted the spot kick to give Colne the lead.
Longridge had a great chance to level the scores just two minutes later when Danny Gardener found space on the right wing and his low cross into the goalmouth found Jay Hart but the ex-Red fired the ball high over the bar from a golden opportunity.
Both sides created chances in the end-to-end play and with half time approaching, George Melling headed just over the Colne bar from a Longridge corner. But as play switched to the other end, Colne stretched their lead when Brad Knox found Alex Curran with a chip to the edge of the area and Curran fired home into the far corner of the net with a superb shot on the turn for the Reds third goal.
As the second half began, Longridge pushed forward with some good attacks and Ince forced a good save from Hakan Burton in the Colne goal. At the other end, Curran and Matty Morgan carved out some half chances as the Longridge defence marshalled by Richard Allen came under pressure.
The Longridge goal had a charmed life on the hour when Morgan’s cross from the bye-line found Wood and his shot through a crowded area somehow finished in the arms of the keeper. Seven minutes later, Morgan saw his goal-bound shot turned over the top corner of the goal with an instinctive save by Dovey. And Dovey made another good save to push Nick McNally’s shot round the post after 71 minutes after Curran had provided the through ball.
Longridge came forward strongly in the closing stages hoping to turn the game around but the Reds defence bolstered by the addition of Matty Makinson and Lee Pugh from the subs bench rarely looked in trouble as they played time out to ensure a well deserved win.
Colne will be at home to Charnock Richard in the quarter final of the LFA Trophy in December (actual date to be confirmed)