Wharton nets late winner for Colne in derby

Alex Coleman puts Colne ahead against Barnoldswick Town on Easter Saturday
Alex Coleman puts Colne ahead against Barnoldswick Town on Easter Saturday

Colne came out on top in the derby with a 2-1 win at Barnoldswick on Easter Saturday thanks to goals by Alex Coleman and Ben Wharton in a closely-fought game.

The Reds fielded two new signings, with Josh Heaton and Dean Stott making their debuts, and forced a series of corners in the opening stages, with Marc Young heading wide at the far post and Heaton’s looping header just clearing the crossbar.

At the other end, Ben Gorman almost benefitted from Mark Threlfall’s cross into the Colne area, as Tony Aghayere claimed the ball at his feet.

As Colne settled into the game, Jay Hart forced a good save from Jordan Gidley to keep out his shot at the near post in a series of raids on the Barnoldswick goal.

But on 36 minutes, it was Aghayere in the Reds goal who made a great save to push Gorman’s shot away from the top corner after Threlfall had headed the ball on into the area.

Two minutes later, Colne took the lead when Joel Melia worked an opening on the right wing, and his curling cross was headed home by Coleman in front of goal.

Barnoldswick came back strongly, and Threlfall looked sure to equalise when through on goal but Aghayere dived to his left to push his shot away with another great save.

As the second half began, Colne threatened with some good through balls for Hart to chase, but Gidley was alert to the danger.

And on 67 minutes, Barnoldswick were presented with an equaliser when Threlfall chased a ball into the penalty area with Heaton in attendance, and when Threlfall went down, the referee awarded a penalty.

Heaton was shown a red card, and Gorman stepped up to fire home the spot kick to level the scores.

Another strong run by Threlfall saw Aghayere down to claim the ball in his area, while at the other end, Hart linked with Wharton to put pressure on the Barnoldswick goal.

And on 75 minutes, the pressure paid off when Simon Nangle’s inswinging corner fell low into the goalmouth, and Wharton forced the ball past Gidley to restore Colne’s lead at 2-1.

Barnoldswick pressed forward in the closing stages, and Aghayere made another good save to keep out Michael Hodson’s shot and secure the points for Colne.

DAVE PRIESTLEY