Colne got their first league win of the season in the Bank Holiday derby at Clitheroe on Monday. The Reds were held in a tight first half but the game sprang to life with an early goal after the interval and Colne took control to run out worthy winners.
The Reds made a promising start with Aiden Chippendale finding space on the left wing for crosses into the Blues goalmouth which saw some desperate clearances. But Clitheroe soon hit back with some dangerous attacks and ex-Red Connor Gaul came close with a shot just wide after a good build up by Hyuga Tanner after only three minutes. Andy Hollins and Lee Pugh did well to contain the Blues attack as Terry Cummings made dangerous runs into their penalty area.
After 13 minutes, a promising attack by Colne saw Sefton Gonzales and Chippendale exchange passes on the left wing before supplying an inviting cross for Max Hazeldine but the ball was whipped off his toes by a defender in the penalty area. But Colne’s attacks were sporadic as they struggled to break free of a midfield battle.
On the half hour, Richie Baker’s free kick into the goalmouth brought a great double save from Blues keeper Connor King as he punched the ball away from Matty Makinson’s head and then got down to block the follow-up by Connor Hughes.
Clitheroe pushed forward strongly before half time and had penalty appeals waved aside when Charlie Russell went down on a run into the Reds area.
As the second half began, Chippendale made a strong run through the Blues defence and laid the ball inside for Hazeldine to beat King with a well struck shot to give Colne the lead. The Reds pushed forward with more attacks and King did well to claim the ball off Gonzales’ head in his goalmouth before Chippendale’s cross flew across the goal-line only needing a touch.
As play swung to the other end, Marcus Poscha made a vital tackle to stop Gaul on his run into the Colne area and Russell flashed a glancing header just over the bar from a right wing cross.
After 65 minutes, Gonzales’ cross found Hazeldine in the Blues penalty area and his shot on the turn brought another good save from King. But ten minutes later, the Clitheroe keeper was injured when jumping for a high ball in his goalmouth and was replaced by Danny Gray. From the restart, Colne won the ball in midfield and Chippendale found the net with a 40 yard lob over the back-pedalling keeper to double Colne’s lead at 2-0.
Colne continued to press and Gray made a good save to turn Tony Donaldson’s header over the bar and did well to block Gonzales’ point blank shot in his goalmouth in the closing stages.
The Reds will be glad to get their first win in a season where they have high ambitions to improve on previous seasons where they have missed out on promotion in the play-offs.
Lee Pugh (C)