Euxton Villa 1 - Colne 2
Colne continued their pre-season matches with a visit to Euxton Villa on Tuesday night and came away with a well earned win from a useful competitive game. In a game of two halves, Euxton gave a good account of themselves in the first half after taking an early lead but the Reds turned up the pressure in the second half to cruise to a comfortable win.
The game got off to a lively start when Euxton striker Bibby burst into the Colne penalty area and went down under a challenge by Matty Makinson. Bibby recovered to take the spot kick himself and give Euxton the lead.
Colne looked for a reply with Aiden Chippendale providing crosses from the left wing and Reece Webb-Foster forced a couple of saves from Euxton keeper Leather. Max Hazeldine was inches away from converting Chippendale’s low cross at the far post in a brief period of Colne pressure.
At the other end Euxton came close with good efforts by Billington that the Reds defence did well to keep out.
Colne looked to have claims for a penalty when Hazeldine was brought down on a run into the area but nothing was given. And on the stroke of half time, an equaliser looked to be on the cards when Hazeldine broke clear but Leather saved his shot in a one-on-one confrontation.
A reshuffle at half time brought fresh legs from the bench and within three minutes the Reds drew level when Sefton Gonzales turned past defenders on the right wing and found the far corner of the net with a diagonal shot past the helpless Leather in goal.
Five minutes later, Gonzales evaded two lunging challenges on the left wing before supplying a low cross for Danny Boyle but his shot was blocked in the goalmouth and cleared by the home defence. The Reds took the lead after 55 minutes when Andy Hollins found the net with a glancing header from Connor Hughes’ diagonal free kick to put them 2-1 up.
Colne controlled play in the second half for long periods with Brad Knox looking strong in midfield and Billy Hasler-Cregg and Waqas Azam repeatedly opening up the home defence. In the closing stages, the game became more physical as Euxton fought for an equaliser but Marcus Poscha and Lee Pugh looked strong at the back and Gonzales continued to torment the Euxton rearguard with some tricky footwork for a big centre forward.