Colne in LFA Trophy Semis
By Dave Priestley
Colne progressed to the semi-final of the Lancashire FA Trophy with a narrow win against Charnock Richard at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Tuesday evening.
A single goal scored by Oliver Wood after four minutes was enough to see the Reds through against an enterprising Charnock Richard side that never gave up.
The Reds got off to a great start when Matty Morgan’s run on the left wing created the opening for Wood to drive home a low shot from a narrow angle after only four minutes. And as Colne continued to create chances, Wood almost added a second after 12 minutes when Brad Lynch’s cross reached him in front of goal but Charnock Richard keeper Adam Halton produced a great save to push away his close range header.
Charnock Richard began to find their feet and Nathan Fairhurst had two good efforts cleared from the Colne penalty area before he curled a shot just wide of the Reds goal in a subsequent attack. At the other end, Morgan and Lynch both had shots deflected wide of the visitors goal in a crowded goalmouth as Charnock Richard got back in numbers to defend.
But the visitors came close to an equaliser after 26 minutes when Jacob Higham was inches away from Joe Noblet’s low cross as he came in at the far post of the Colne goal. And three minutes later, a free kick by Noblet into the Colne area reached Carl Grimshaw for a powerful header which was saved on the line by Hakan Burton.
With half time approaching, the game swung back in Colne’s favour as Wood brought a good save from Halton with a goal-bound shot and Lynch saw his shot deflected wide of goal after an excellent build-up by the Reds.
As the second half began, Charnock Richard won a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Colne penalty area but Noblet’s shot was blocked by the defensive wall and James Walker fired the rebound wide of the target.
After 72 minutes, a great through ball by Alex Coleman released Niall Watson but his angled shot flew over the bar from a great opening. And minutes later, a Lee Pugh free kick found Krishnan Patel who blasted a 35 yard shot just over the visitors’ goal.
In the closing stages, a 25 yard free kick by Charnock Richard’s Spencer Bibby brought a superb reaction save from Burton as he turned the shot over the bar. But as play switched to the other end, a well worked move found Watson on the edge of the visitors area but his finishing shot flew just wide of goal.
The Reds ran out worthy winners after a closely fought contest and will look forward to the draw for the next round as they continue on the cup trail.