Colne crashed out of the Lancashire FA Trophy at the quarter final stage at the hands of Prestwich Heys on Tuesday night at the Sovereign Play Stadium. Despite taking an early lead, the Reds never came to grips with an enterprising attacking side that exploited their defensive weaknesses and punished them with a five goal romp.
Colne started brightly and built some promising attacks with Billy Hasler-Cregg making runs up the left wing and supplying crosses into the box. After 14 minutes, the pressure told when Max Hazeldine’s through ball released Hasler-Cregg into the penalty area and only a last ditch tackle by Jamie Sinnott forced a corner. And from the resulting cross by Hasler-Cregg, Hazeldine headed home to give the Reds the lead.
Seven minutes later, Colne might have doubled their lead when Alex Coleman’s cross reached Sefton Gonzales at the far post but his downward header was an easy save for the keeper. And Colne were made to regret the miss after 24 minutes when Francesco Frangillo made a strong run through the Reds defence and levelled the scores with a low shot from a narrow angle.
Colne pushed forward looking to restore their lead but Mark Ayres made a series of vital clearances from the Prestwich penalty area. On the half hour, Hasler-Cregg’s corner was met by Gonzales in the goalmouth but his volley hit the post and was cleared by the visitors defence.
Colne continued to press but were rocked by a second goal for the visitors after 40 minutes when a low cross was fired home at the far post by Jacob Holt to give the visitors the lead at 2-1.
Early in the second half, Colne came close when Hasler-Cregg’s shot brought a great one-handed save by Prestwich keeper Russell Saunders to turn the ball over his crossbar. And Aidan Chippendale’s free kick flew across the face of goal needing only a touch to turn the ball into the net.
After 67 minutes, things got worse for the Reds when Matty Makinson was harshly adjudged to have fouled Jordan Pendlebury with his tackle inside the Colne area and Max White fired home the resulting penalty to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
The Reds looked for a quick reply and Hasler-Cregg’s high cross to the far post was headed home by Joe Coveney to reduce the arrears to 3-2 after 73 minutes.
But Colne’s hopes were dashed ten minutes later when a mix-up between Hakan Burton and Makinson presented Rio Wilson-Heyes with a simple chance to score Prestwich’s fourth goal. In the closing stages, Prestwich pushed forward again and Wilson-Heyes rounded off the scoring after 87 minutes when he tapped home a low cross to the far post for the visitors’ fifth goal.
The Reds are now clear of all cup competitions and need to work on building consistency in their league games in an effort to move up the table and ultimately reach the play-offs by the end of the season.