A LATE winner from Mark Threlfall gave Barnoldswick Town victory over rivals Colne at the XLCR Stadium on Tuesday night, as Reds midfielder Michael Morrison suffered a broken leg.
Former Colne forward Threlfall went in for a 50/50 challenge with Morrison 10 minutes after the break, but the one-time Nelson player boss was left in agony, with the game delayed for 25 minutes as the distressed Reds midfielder received treatment from paramedics and was taken to hospital, with both sets of players clearly shaken by the scenes.
There was consultation between the referee and both managers in regards to the abandonment of the game, but with everyone in agreement, the match resumed after the delay.
And Threlfall popped up ti curl in a dramatic late winner for Town.
Both sides started the game in mid-table, and both teams cancelled each other out in the first half, Colne midfielder Dominic Craig coming the closest to breaking the deadlock, having his effort cleared off the line after 16 minutes.
Half-time arrived at 0-0 with little action at either end.
The second-half brought a more lively encounter, but unfortunately the game was soured by the injury of Morrison.
On the resumption of play, Colne had a spell of domination shortly after, and they had the ball in the net through Carl Ellerton on the hour mark, who was denied by an off-side flag, but could have easily conceded on the counter-attack a minute later after Danny Morton raced through but blazed his shot over the bar.
The drama ensued in the dying minutes though as Threlfall curled a spectacular effort into the top-corner with only minutes remaining to give Barnoldswick a much-needed boost after suffering defeat in the cup against Formby on Saturday.
For Colne, the distress of losing Morrison to a long-term injury and suffering defeat in the dying moments will be a major setback, and they drop to seventh, one point behind Barnoldswick.
On Saturday, Colne lost out in an eight-goal thriller against Runcorn Town at the XLCR Stadium.
The visitors took the lead after just four minutes when Gareth Grant slipped between two defenders and chipped the ball over Chris Thompson from the narrowest of angles.
But Runcorn’s lead lasted less than a minute as Micky Saunders’ low cross found Jason Hart at the far post to sidefoot home the equaliser for Colne.
The drama continued after eight minutes when James McShane broke clear and saw his goalbound chip hooked off the line by Ben Hoskin to deny the visitors a certain goal.
Colne began to take control and almost took the lead after 17 minutes when Ashley Carter’s low diagonal ball found Hart at the far post, who saw his sidefoot shot blocked by the keeper with a good save.
Five minutes later, Hart came close again with a volley just past the top corner of the visitors’ goal.
Runcorn came close with some good attacks on the half hour mark but Hoskin put in some outstanding challenges in the defence.
Colne pressed forward before half time with Michael Morrison prompting from midfield and were rewarded on 43 minutes when they took the lead when Hart’s run took him into the penalty area to the left of goal and his low cross was fired home by Carter.
But Runcorn struck back two minutes into the second half when Paul Shanley broke clear and levelled at 2-2 with a low diagonal shot into the net.
Colne fought back with Dominic Craig and Jimmy Crorken supplying the crosses and Saunders blasting a shot just off target.
But Runcorn forged ahead after 55 minutes when Grant found the net with a low shot from the edge of the area.
But again Colne bounced back within a minute with a Hart run into the area and a cross to Mark Coyne who scored with a clever chip past the keeper for 3-3.
Colne’s new signing Carl Ellerton made a great tackle to deny Grant, and Tom Fowler was a commanding figure in the air at the back.
But Thompson made the save of the day when he got a hand to Grant’s free kick to turn it over the bar on 67 minutes.
Mark Keddie restored Runcorn’s lead after 70 minutes with a shot from inside the area after Grant had made the run.
And Shanley stretched that lead with Runcorn’s fifth goal after 78 minutes when he headed home a high cross following a disputed free kick for the visitors.
Hoskin grazed the bar with a free kick and Coyne was unlucky with a powerful header straight at the keeper as Colne battled to the end to reduce the deficit but had to concede defeat to an impressive Runcorn side.
Tomorrow the Reds are at home to AFC Liverpool (kick-off 3 p.m.), before a trip to Padiham on Wednesday (kick-off 7-45 p.m.)