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Boxing Day Victory For The Reds

Colne 2  Clitheroe 1

Colne came out on top in the Boxing Day derby against Clitheroe at Holt House.  A crowd of 591 enjoyed a thrilling end-to-end game in wintery conditions which brought the home side three badly needed points.

Both sides showed attacking ideas in the opening minutes and Colne tested the visitors’ defence with Oli Roberts seeing his goal-bound shot blocked in the visitors’ area after five minutes.  And Clitheroe keeper Chris Thompson raced from his area to clear the ball as Enock Lusiama bore down on him.

But as play switched to the other end, Clitheroe enjoyed a period of attacking play and Colne keeper Andre Mendes was at full stretch to clear the ball from his goalmouth as Sefton Gonzales created some dangerous chances.  

But the Reds weathered the storm and built some promising attacks of their own with Paul Dugdale supplying searching balls into the Blues penalty area.  And Craig Carney’s 20 yard shot was well held under his bar by Thompson before Lusiama’s run on the right wing created a chance for Owen Watkinson but his shot was cleared from the visitors’ goalmouth.

At the other end, chances fell to Reece Webb-Foster but Mendes produced good saves to keep out some goal-bound shots.

But Clitheroe began to concede a series of free kicks just outside their penalty area and after 25 minutes Roberts curled a well struck shot just over Thompson’s crossbar before five minutes later Thompson produced a good save to parry Lusiama’s shot at the foot of his post and from the follow-up Tom Hoyle’s shot was deflected wide off a defender’s body.  

After 35 minutes, Lucas Weaver was brought down just outside the Blues penalty area to the right of goal and the resulting free kick was played in low for Watkinson to try a shot which was blocked and half cleared to the edge of the area where Hoyle hit a rising shot into the roof of the net to give Colne the lead.

Colne might have doubled their lead five minutes later when Roberts’ free kick brought a good save from Thompson to push the ball away on his line.  But it was Clitheroe who pushed forward in the closing minutes of the half and with the game in added time, a high cross from the left wing found the head of Cameron Lancaster who headed home at the near post to level the scores for the Blues at 1-1.

Colne pushed forward in the second half and a late tackle on Watkinson gave the Reds a free kick on the edge of the Blues area.  Roberts’ free kick came back off the wall but the loose ball was played into the area to the right of goal where Roberts’ low cross found Carney in front of goal to blast home an unstoppable shot and restore Colne’s lead at 2-1.

Clitheroe looked for a quick reply but Darren Holden fired over the bar from a good chance and Lee Pugh’s shot was well saved on his line by Mendes.  In the end-to-end play, Colne came close after 73 minutes when good work by Watkinson and Lusiama created an opening for Weaver and his goal-bound shot needed a great save by Thompson to push the ball round the post.  And five minutes later, it was Weaver who created the chance for Watkinson to fire a good shot on the turn inches over the Blues crossbar.

In the closing stages, Clitheroe pushed forward with Holden making good runs on the left wing and Max Cane fired just wide of the Colne goal from a chance created by him. Colne’s defence fought hard to hold the visitors attack with Harry Winstanley, Tom McCann and Dugdale outstanding.

With the game going into added time, a high cross from the left wing found Billy Priestley at the far post but his goal-bound header was pushed over the bar by a spectacular save by Mendes.  And from the resulting corner, Mendes again turned the ball over the bar from Gonzales’ header as Colne held on stubbornly to claim a memorable victory in a typically exciting derby game.


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