COLNE went nap with five goals at Atherton LR to end their run of five league defeats and bring in some much needed points.
Billy Priestley opened the scoring after 10 minutes when he headed in a corner to give the Reds the lead, and Colne brushed aside the home defence in a first half attacking display.
Two minutes later, a Sam Hayes’ cross from the right fell to Danny Boyle in the goalmouth, but he sliced his shot wide when a second goal looked a formality.
Colne forced a series of corners and, as Atherton struggled to clear their lines, Joe Garvin forced a great save from home keeper Joe Brobbin, pushing his dipping shot over the crossbar.
But the pressure paid off when Boyle doubled the Reds lead after 17 minutes when he met a half-clearance on the volley to blast the ball into the roof of the net from 25 yards.
Mark Threlfall provided a great cross from the right after 29 minutes for Hayes to score from close range with an acrobatic finish for Colne’s third goal.
Two minutes later, Threlfall was again the provider with a pass from the left for Dominic Craig to beat the keeper with a cool finish as Colne went four ahead.
Another good cross by Threlfall after 35 minutes gave Hayes the chance of another acrobatic finish, but this time the ball flew wide of the target.
Just before half-time, Atherton at last began to get their own attacks together and James Fogg and Max Haubus made dangerous runs into the Colne penalty area to sound a warning to the Reds.
As the second half began, Jamie Scott did well to block Fogg’s shot in the Colne penalty area from a good home attack.
But Colne went further ahead after 57 minutes when a Jimmy Crorken diagonal ball gave Boyle the opening to shoot into the roof of the net for a five-goal lead.
Adam Parkhouse reduced the deficit with a goal for Atherton on the hour when he broke clear on a through ball from Fogg, and his shot found the net despite Scott getting a hand to it.
Nine minutes later Chris Lomax got a second for the home team when he met a low cross at the near post to divert it into the far corner of the net.
The Colne defence were made to work hard as Atherton pushed forward with renewed confidence, but the Reds should have added further goals.
Boyle and Bright Maduka missed good chances late in the game and Brobbin saved Boyle’s close range shot with his feet just before the final whistle.
On Saturday Colne travel to Ramsbottom for the First Round Proper of the FA Vase, kick-off 3 p.m