A TENSE local derby at the Silentnight Stadium on Tuesday night went Barnoldswick’s way with two goals in the last half hour after a close tactical battle.
In the first half, Colne pushed forward with some good attacks prompted by Andy Tinker and Sam Morris on the left wing.
Micky Woodvine saw his goalbound shot deflected wide after 12 minutes and Danny Boyle gave the home defence plenty of problems with his runs into the penalty area.
When Mark Coyne was fouled just outside the area after 22 minutes, Tinker’s low free kick was hacked out of the goalmouth.
And Colne had the ball in the net after 36 minutes when Billy Priestley forced home Coyne’s looping header, but the referee judged that there was a foul on keeper Billy Carrington.
But Barnoldswick’s game plan to hit Colne on the break constantly tested the Reds offside trap. And with half time approaching, only a superb tackle by Danny Gleave prevented former Red Liam Garbutt from giving the home side the lead after he broke clear.
Barnoldswick began to make more chances in the second half and Aaron Hollindrake missed a golden opportunity when he failed to make contact with Spencer Jordan’s cross in the Colne goalmouth.
Then Colne keeper Chris Thompson did well to clear the ball off the toes of Garbutt after a back-pass let him in with a sight of goal.
After 61 minutes, the inevitable happened when Spencer Jordan broke clear of the Reds defence and beat Thompson with a low shot into the far corner of the net to give Barnoldswick the lead.
Ten minutes later, only a desperate clearance by Priestley prevented Jordan from scoring again when the ball reached him in the Colne goalmouth.
Thompson rescued the Reds by saving with his feet after 77 minutes when Hollindrake broke clear, and he did the same again minutes later when Spencer Jordan made a run on goal. But from the resulting corner after 81 minutes, Russ Clarke headed the ball down in the goalmouth and Lewis Jordan fired home from close range to double Barnoldswick’s lead.
Colne’s best chance came minutes later when Coyne set up Boyle in the home goalmouth but Carrington managed to push his shot wide denying the Reds even a consolation goal.
It was a different story on Saturday, however, as the Reds won 2-0 at Alsager Town.
In a spirited performance, Mark Coyne got his first goal for the Reds with a far post header after 24 minutes.
The goal came after an opening period in which Colne had eased themselves into the game, with Danny Boyle and Micky Woodvine prompting some good moves, and the Colne defence getting to grips with some quick breaks by the Alsager attack.
Dominic Craig shot wide after a good run into the penalty area by Boyle just one minute before the goal, and, as Colne kept up the momentum, Andy Tinker’s cross was headed on by Mark Threlfall for Coyne to finish at the far post.
Two minutes later, Craig looked sure to add a second goal for the Reds after a defence-splitting move, but the keeper got down to save his well placed shot just inside the post.
Billy Priestley and Danny Gleave made some vital tackles to halt the speedy runs of Lee Skellern and Aaron Johns as Alsager were quick to counterattack, but with Sam Hayes and Sam Morris working tirelessly, the threat was kept to a minimum.
As the second half began, Boyle and Woodvine both had shots saved while, at the other end, Chris Thompson did well to clear the ball from his goalmouth under a series of physical challenges.
But seven minutes after the interval, Alsager keeper Tom Harrison fouled Priestley as he challenged for a high ball in the home penalty area and Boyle converted the spot kick to double Colne’s lead.
Two minutes later, Gleave missed a great chance to make it three when he shot over the bar after a cross reached him at the far post.
And after 64 minutes, Tinker saw his free kick come back off the Alsager crossbar with the keeper well beaten.
Colne keeper Thompson kept a clean sheet with some vital saves late on as the home side tried to hit back on the break, but Luke McVarish might have had the last word for the Reds when he headed inches over the bar after a superb build-up in the closing minutes.
Colne are at home on Saturday to Maine Road at the XLCRStadium, kick-off 3 p.m.
Colne Reserves 2, Bamber Bridge Res 1
Colne Reserves once again turned in an excellent performance in the Galaxy Lancashire League at the XLCR stadium on Monday night to see off the challenge of a strong Bamber Bridge Reserves side.
The visitors started well and came close after 15 minutes when Luke Massey missed a great chance by shooting over the bar from just six yards out.
But, as the Reds fought their way into the game, Sean Thompson almost broke the deadlock when he saw his diagonal shot hit the far post after 35 minutes.
On 39 minutes, however, Josh Holland gave Bamber Bridge the lead when he knocked home a low cross at the far post after good work by Matt Shaw. Colne responded immediately and drew level just two minutes later when Ben Bridson’s low cross was fired home by Kieran Demaine.
Colne worked hard in the second half but found it hard to create chances and the visitors looked increasingly dangerous.
The referee waved aside claims for a penalty when Tom Goulding went down in the Colne area on a good run and Sefton Gonzales headed over the bar from a great chance.
But, as Colne defended stubbornly, the game swung in their favour on 80 minutes when a high ball into the visitors’ penalty area was dropped by the keeper under pressure and Chris Walker blasted the loose ball into the net to give the Reds a 2-1 win.
Colne Reserves are at home on Monday to Kendal Town Reserves, kick-off 7-45 p.m.