Colne bowed out of the Buildbase FA Trophy after a fighting performance against National League side Southport at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday. The Reds played some good football and took a two goal lead in the first half but ultimately conceded three goals as the visitors came back strongly to snatch the winner in injury time.
The Reds started brightly with some good attacking moves and Connor Hughes saw his well struck shot turned over the bar with an instinctive reaction save by Southport keeper Charlie Albinson following a good build-up by Sefton Gonzales and Aidan Chippendale after nine minutes.
As play swung to the other end, Colne came under pressure from crosses from both wings and Andy Hollins and Gonzales made good clearances from the Reds goalmouth. And Devarn Green shot wide of the Colne goal after Dean Winnard’s free kick was headed down to him in the Colne area.
The Reds built a series of promising attacks with some good passing moves through midfield and Lee Pugh’s shot was deflected just wide of goal after Chippendale’s low cross found him in the visitors’ penalty area on the half hour.
With half time approaching, a free kick on the right wing gave Chippendale the opportunity to curl a left foot inswinger into the Southport goalmouth and the ball finished in the far corner of the net off the head of visiting defender Jack Doyle to give Colne the lead on 40 minutes. Three minutes later, as Colne pushed forward once more, a long throw into the visitors’ penalty area by Pugh was headed home by Gonzales to double the Reds lead.
On the stroke of half time however, the Colne defence were caught out by a long ball forward and, as they appealed for a foul, Green raced clear to chip the ball over the advancing Hakan Burton and into the net to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
As the second half began, Colne looked to restore their two goal cushion and Gonzales tested the keeper with a low shot on the turn which was well saved at the near post by Albinson. And minutes later, Chippendale’s high cross was headed just wide by Will Harris from another good chance.
At the other end, Marcus Poscha was outstanding in the defence as he cut out dangerous runs by Green. And Matty Makinson made good clearances under pressure in the Colne goalmouth.
Just after the hour mark, Colne came close with some promising attacks and Albinson did well to claim the ball at Harris’ feet after Pugh’s cross found him on the edge of the area. Minutes later, Harris was again denied by Albinson who blocked his run with a tackle and as Joe Coveney looked to fire home the loose ball, a last ditch tackle by a defender robbed him of the chance.
But Southport looked dangerous with every attack and after 71 minutes, a cross by Green into the Colne goalmouth found Brad Bauress unmarked and he headed the ball into the bottom corner of the net to level the scores at 2-2.
Colne looked to regain the lead and Billy Hasler-Cregg’s cross was headed away from the near post by a resolute Southport defence before Hughes’ header was taken by Albinson just under the crossbar of the Southport goal.
But Southport attacked late on and Russell Benjamin’s pile driver was blocked by Makinson in the Colne goalmouth. And deep into injury time, the ball was headed down in the Colne area for David Morgan to fire home the winning goal for the visitors in a dramatic finish to the game.
Lee Pugh (C)