Colne powered their way through to the quarter finals of the North West Counties Men United Cup at a rain soaked XLCR Stadium on Tuesday night.
Opponents Northwich provided formidable opposition having already beaten the Reds in their last visit and Colne were determined to get revenge in their last chance of silverware for the current season.
Heavy rain arrived as the game kicked off and continued throughout the evening as both sides fought to overcome the difficult conditions. It was the Reds who gained the upper hand and took the lead after 16 minutes when Spencer Jordan forced his way through inside the penalty area before finding the bottom corner of the net with a close range shot to put Colne in front.
The visitors looked dangerous on the attack but found Colne keeper Chris Thompson in excellent form behind a well organised Colne defence. But the Reds should have doubled their lead on the half hour when Danny Boyle broke clear on the right wing. His well driven shot was parried by Northwich keeper Matt Cronkie who then recovered to block Jordan’s follow-up shot in the six yard box when a goal seemed certain.
Colne were caught out by a quick counterattack after 37 minutes after Boyle had been pulled down on the edge of the Northwich penalty area. Simon Nangle’s free kick was blocked by a defender and as the ball was cleared to the other end of the field, Matthew Ward broke clear and fired home the equaliser.
Three minutes later Nangle saw his shot parried by the keeper and then appeared to be pulled down by a defender in the goalmouth as he tried to retrieve the loose ball but the referee waved aside the Reds claims for a penalty. On the stroke of half time, Jordan burst into the penalty area on a through ball and his miss-hit shot beat the keeper but came back off the far post.
Seven minutes into the second half, Colne restored their lead when Kieran Demaine’s diagonal cross was headed home at the far post by Brandon Barski in a period of pressure by the Reds.
Northwich hit back on the hour with an equaliser when Stuart Wellstead broke into the Colne area to the right of goal and blasted an unstoppable diagonal shot into the net past a helpless Thompson to level the scores at 2-2.
But within a minute Colne came back with the perfect reply when a through ball gave Danny Boyle a clear sight of goal and he scored with a low shot past the advancing keeper to restore the Reds lead at 3-2.
Colne now meet Atherton Collieries in the quarter finals of the cup after a hard fought and well deserved win.
The Reds travel to Stockport Sports on Saturday and the next game after that will be at the XLCR Stadium on Saturday, December 27th when they play local rivals Nelson.