Colne brushed off the challenge of AFC Blackpool in the semi-final of the MEN United Cup at the XLCR Stadium on Saturday to win 2-0.
Reserve keeper Stuart Cross got an early touch of the ball when he came out to claim at the feet of Richard Seear as the Blackpool striker made a strong run through the middle after seven minutes.
The Reds took the lead after 18 minutes when Jason Hart found Dom Craig in the opposing penalty area and he was tripped as he made a run across the box. Hart converted from the spot with a clever chip over the diving keeper to put Colne in the driving seat.
Blackpool keeper Adam Caunce kept out shots by Chris Anderson and Danny Boyle on the half hour but the Reds were reduced to ten men after 40 minutes when Michael Morrison was sent off for his second yellow card.
The 10 men of Colne responded with a second goal on the stroke of half-time when Spencer Jordan’s great cross from the bye-line was volleyed home at the far post by Hart to give the home side a two-goal cushion.
Blackpool pushed forward after the interval but Colne’s defence stood firm as Charlie Waters provided some dangerous crosses from the right wing which Alex Coleman and Craig headed away from the Colne penalty area. And Cross made a good save to deny Aaron Fleming on the hour after the Blackpool winger got a clear sight of goal.
But as the half wore on, it was the Reds who looked the more likely to add to the scoreline. A series of good attacks in the closing stages had the visitors defence scrambling the ball clear from their six-yard box as Colne looked for a third goal. Lee Pugh saw his diagonal shot fly just past the far post with Caunce beaten and the keeper was lucky when Craig’s shot hit him in the goalmouth and he recovered to claim the loose ball. Hart saw the ball headed clear from the goalmouth after chipping over the keeper and was desperately unlucky to see another shot fly inches past the post as the Reds kept up the pressure to the end.
The other semi-final between Atherton Collieries and Barnton will not take place for two weeks so the Reds must wait to see who they face in the final at Fleetwood on 10th May.
Tomorrow Colne are at Home to 1874 Northwich and on Tuesday they host Alsager (kick-off 8 p.m.).