Carter continues Colne’s climb


COLNE extended their superb run to just one defeat in their last 13 games and continued their rise up the table to fourth position, establishing themselves as serious title contenders.

After the atrocious weather in the last few weeks, it was a perfect day and pitch for football and the conditions did not disappoint.

But it was Congleton who made the better start, and in the first 20 minutes the play was concentrated in the Colne half of the field.

And to their credit the Reds defended well and weathered the storm, with Ben Hoskin, Scott Moore and Tom Fowler staying strong and snuffing out the threats of the Congleton attacks.

As the game progressed, Colne gradually clawed their way back into the contest, largely due to the industry in midfield of Anthony McLoughlin, Michael Morrison and Robert Grimes.

After half an hour Colne started to gain the majority of the possession and mount pressure on the Congleton back four. Ashley Carter (pictured) was causing Congleton all sorts of problems down the left flank, prompting the attacks of Mark Coyne and Jason Hart.

Carter released Hart, who slipped the ball to Coyne, and was only denied by a brilliant fingertip save by Michael Langley.

Minutes later Hart’s free kick to Carter was laid back to Grimes, but his shot was deflected for a corner.

Then just before half-time Langley’s weak clearance was seized upon by Coyne, who raced forward, but his shot lacked power and did not threaten the goal.

So at the interval, honours were even and all was to play for in the second half.

Colne made a better start to this half than the first.

On 50 minutes Hart broke clear down the right and squared the ball, but only Coyne had reached the area, and when his shot was blocked, there was nobody to pick up the pieces and the ball was launched down the field.

Minutes later the scene was repeated, but this time it was Grimes who was denied by Langley.

Then against the run of play, Michael Koral broke clear through the middle for Congleton and managed to get off a good shot which was brilliantly saved by Chris Thompson, who dived and turned the ball past the near post with an outstretched arm.

By this stage Colne were upping their game and contesting every ball, and looked favourites to open the scoring.

It was therefore no surprise when Colne took the lead with quarter of an hour remaining, although in somewhat fortunate circumstances when Carter’s shot-cum-cross deceived Langley and nestled into the far corner.

In the final 10 minutes Hart and Mickey Saunders both came close to increasing Colne’s lead, but they had Dominic Craig to thank for two goal line clearances which assured them of victory.

On Saturday it is another top of the table contest when Colne make the short journey to face Padiham at the Arbories, kick-off 3 p.m.

Then the Reds travel to Silsden on Wednesday, kick-off 7-45 p.m.