Stalybridge Celtic F.C. 0 - 1 Colne F.C.
Image credit: Braithwaite Photography
Colne took another step on the road to Wembley with an excellent win at Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday. A goal just before half time was enough to see the Reds through to the next round in a hard fought end-to-end game filled with incident.
In the opening stages, it was the Reds who looked the better team with some promising attacking play, but the home side looked dangerous on the break with Jay Fitzmartin and Scott Bakkor being quick on the counterattack. Lee Pugh made some good tackles to stop the runs of Dougie Nyaupembe on the right wing.
At the other end, Celtic’s keeper Louis Hood raced from his area to head clear as Billy Hasler-Cregg bore down on goal on Pugh’s through ball after 11 minutes. Tyler Forbes’ low diagonal cross into the home penalty area was scrambled clear as Colne began to turn up the pressure.
After 21 minutes, Hakan Burton’s long ball sent Reece Webb-Foster on a goalward run, but he lifted his shot just over the bar under pressure from a chasing defender. Five minutes later Oli Roberts’ free kick on edge of the area was blocked by the defensive wall as Colne created more chances.
At the other end, Celtic came close when a free kick to the far post was headed back across the face of goal before being headed clear by Tom Dean in a crowded goalmouth.
Colne were controlling the game with Anthony Williams and Alex Dodd buzzing in midfield. Two minutes before half time, Colne took the lead when Pugh’s long throw eluded the keeper and was turned into the net by Stalybridge defender Connor O’Grady, under pressure from Forbes in the goalmouth.
As the second half began, Stalybridge came back strongly with some dangerous attacks to test the Colne defence and after 52 minutes Burton produced a great save to turn a point blank header by Charley Doyle over the bar.
At the other end after 66 minutes, Hasler-Cregg made a great run to the bye-line inside the home penalty area and was brought down by a late tackle by a defender, but Colne’s claims for a penalty were waved aside by the referee. And in the Reds next attack, some great play by Hasler-Cregg and Webb-Foster inside the home penalty area almost produced a second goal, but the Celtic defence cleared the danger.
Stalybridge looked for an equaliser in the closing stages, but Colne defended strongly and held firm with Paul Dugdale and Aaron Turner making vital clearances and Burton determined to keep a clean sheet. The Red’s travelling supporters celebrated a famous victory at the final whistle as they look forward to the next round.
Colne F.C. Line Up:
Burton / Forbes / Pugh / Dean / Dugdale / Turner / Roberts / Williams / Dodd* / Hasler-Cregg / Webb-Foster
Bayode / Winstanley / Baldwin* / Takpe / McFarlane