Colne got their first win under manager Jon Macken on Tuesday night against Widnes. The Reds had gone five games without scoring but broke their duck after half an hour of the game to take the lead and made the win safe in the second half with a well deserved penalty.
The Reds made a promising start and forced a series of corners with Paul Dugdale making inroads on the left wing and Prince Haywood providing crosses from the right. A well placed free kick by Oli Roberts after 14 minutes found Ethan Sutcliffe’s head in the area but his effort flew over the bar from a reasonable chance.
Minutes later, Jack Williams made a great run into the visitors’ penalty area beating defenders on the way but was ultimately crowded out before he could get a shot in. Elliott Rokka’s shot was deflected wide following another good build-up through the Colne midfield and on the half hour Roberts’ diagonal free kick was fisted away from under his crossbar by Widnes keeper Cameron Terry.
Three minutes later, Colne made the break through when Roberts’ corner was headed down in the goalmouth by Tom Dean and Danny Edwards fired home from close range to give the Reds the lead.
As Widnes looked for a quick reply, a free kick was headed down in the Colne penalty area and a shot blocked in the goalmouth before being cleared. And Tom Dean made a vital tackle to block the shot of John McGrath in the Reds area with half time approaching.
As the second half began, Sutcliffe burst into the visitors’ penalty area and was dispossessed by a last ditch tackle at the expense of a corner. But as play switched to the other end, Hakan Burton made a vital save when he got down at the feet of Sam Turner to block his close range shot in the Colne goalmouth.
In the end-to-end play, Rokka’s cross found Dean’s head in front of goal but keeper Terry held the ball under his crossbar under pressure. While at the other end, Stephen Rigby blasted a 25 yard shot just wide of the Colne goal after a half clearance by the Reds defence.
But after 74 minutes, Rokka’s run took him to the bye line and his low cross was blocked by a defender. And as Edwards chased the loose ball, he was brought down from behind to give Colne a penalty. Rokka converted from the spot with a confident finish to put the Reds two goals up.
Colne were in no mood to relinquish their lead and Tom Lent made a great tackle to clear the ball off the toes of Alex McMillan in the closing minutes as he threatened to reduce the arrears.
The Reds will expect to build on this win as they travel to bottom place Market Drayton on Saturday and lift themselves up the table to a respectable position.
Colne F.C. Line Up:
Burton / Haywood / Dugdale / Lent / Dean / Roberts / Edwards / Kingsley Williams / Sutcliffe*** / Jack Williams* / Rokka**
Worrall** / Ing* / Turner*** / Brown / Thorpe