Reds Bow to Brig in Integro Cup
By Dave Priestley
Colne went out of the Integro League Cup on Tuesday night at Premier Division Bamber Bridge despite a spirited second half come back and a goal out of the top drawer by recent signing Ramirez Howarth.
Bamber Bridge looked the stronger side in the first half and took the lead after 12 minutes when a corner found its way to Matt Lawlor beyond the far post and he fired home a low shot through a crowd of players on the line.
As Colne looked for a reply, Matty Morgan and Dominic Kerrigan found space on the right wing to provide diagonal balls for Nick McNally and Howarth to test the home defence with some probing runs.
But on the half hour, a series of free kicks and corners tested the Reds defence and Jonathan Hodgkinson and Marcus Poscha made good clearances from the Colne goalmouth under pressure from high crosses and Hakan Burton looked confident between the sticks with some good saves.
As half time approached, the game swung in Colne’s favour and a series of well worked attacks from both wings promised an equaliser but Kerrigan saw his well struck angled shot pushed round the near post with a good save by Brig keeper Danny Roccia just one minute before the interval.
Five minutes into the second half, Colne conceded a free kick in a dangerous position and when a diagonal ball was played into the area, the referee spotted an offence in the crowded goalmouth and awarded a penalty to the home side. Alistair Waddecar converted the spot kick to double Brig’s lead. And within a minute, Burton needed to make a good save to keep out Chris Churchman’s shot as the home side looked for further goals.
Colne recovered from the setback and began to look more dangerous going forward with the introduction of Brad Lynch from the subs bench whose darting runs unsettled the Brig defence. After 70 minutes, Lynch saw his close range shot blocked in the goalmouth and in the Reds next attack, Howarth forced a good save from Roccia with a low shot from the edge of the area.
As Colne kept up the pressure, Howarth picked up the ball on the right wing and cut inside before curling a superb left foot shot inside the far post to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
In the closing stages, Colne looked capable of getting back on level terms with the majority of the possession and some good attacking football and after 88 minutes, Alex Pope’s cross found Morgan in front of goal but his downward header was saved by Roccia and the chance was gone.
Deep into injury time as Colne pushed forward, Brig caught them on the break and Matthew Dudley raced away to chip the ball over Burton for a third goal for the home side.