Colne got their first league win of the season on Tuesday night in a closely fought game against City of Liverpool at Holt House. The win was a shot in the arm for the Reds in a week of turmoil that has seen the resignation of their Chairman and main sponsor and will serve to lift the side’s spirits in the coming months as they seek to regroup.
Colne got off to a great start after heavy rain in the pre-match build-up and they took the lead in the first minute of the game. Owen Watkinson’s angled shot was cleared from the visitors’ goalmouth but only as far as Brad Knox who tried a speculative 25 yard shot which the visitors’ keeper let slip from his hands into the net.
The Purps came back strongly with some surging attacks and first time crosses into the Colne goalmouth to set up some inviting chances for an equaliser. But the Reds defended determinedly and their new goalkeeper Andre da Silva Mendes, on a month’s loan from Morecambe, produced some excellent saves to keep the ball out of his net. He denied Adam Hughes with a great save after eight minutes and two minutes later made an incredible point blank save to keep out Will Jones’ effort at the far post.
As the half wore on, Colne came more into the picture as an attacking force and threatened on 35 minutes when Jack Doherty’s run and clever back heel set up a good chance for Craig Carney whose shot was held by the keeper at his near post. And on the stroke of half time, the Reds doubled their lead when Watkinson beat a posse of three defenders and found the net with a shot from a tight angle into the far corner of goal.
As the second half began, Colne pushed forward and Purps keeper Ryan Hamer was kept busy foiling some promising attacks with a good command of his area. On the hour, Watkinson burst clear on a through ball from Lucas Weaver and went down heavily as Hamer dived at his feet but the referee waved away Colne’s claims for a penalty.
Ten minutes later, a well worked move on the left wing by Tom McCann and Harry Jones gave Weaver a sight of goal but his curling shot was beaten away from under the bar by Hamer to deny Colne a third goal. As the Reds continued to press, another great attacking move finished with a shot just over the bar by Jones. And once again, Colne were denied a penalty when Hamer appeared to bring Watkinson down in his area. A great move by Weaver up the left wing beating the last defender took him into the penalty area and his goal-bound shot was saved by Hamer’s outstretched foot on the goal-line.
In the closing stages, it was the Purps who pushed forward and Colne were forced to defend with Glenn Steel and Paul Dugdale making vital clearances from the Reds goalmouth. After 86 minutes, a 20 yard free kick gave the visitors a sight of goal and Jack Hazelhurst unleashed a vicious swerving shot into the top corner of the Colne net to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
But the Reds were in no mood to relinquish the lead and held on strongly in the dying minutes to claim a vital three points.