Colne advance to LFA Challenge Trophy semi-final

Kenny Taylor, pictured in action for Padiham, scored Colne's winner at Bamber Bridge on Tuesday night
Kenny Taylor, pictured in action for Padiham, scored Colne's winner at Bamber Bridge on Tuesday night

Colne earned a place in the semi-finals of the LFA Challenge Trophy after victory over Evo-Stik opposition Bamber Bridge on Tuesday night at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

In a keenly-fought quarter-final, the Reds soaked up everything that Brig could throw at them and came out winners thanks to a Kenny Taylor goal early in the second half.

The home side looked confident in the opening stages and Matt Lawlor headed narrowly wide from a free kick after 16 minutes, before Chris Marlow directed a bullet header just over the bar from Curtis Thompson’s cross.

And Reds captain Simon Nangle made a great saving header to turn the ball over the bar on 20 minutes.

But Colne might have taken the lead after 22 minutes when Nangle’s through ball released Jason Hart, but as he tried to go round Lee Dovey, the keeper did enough to hold him up and his defenders completed the clearance.

As Bamber Bridge continued to dominate, Joe Booth flashed an angled shot just wide and Chris Thompson did well to block Paul McKenna’s effort on the line.

Seven minutes into the second half, the Reds shocked the home side by taking the lead. Hart’s quick free kick caught out the defence and released Danny Boyle, and his low cross was knocked home by Taylor.

Thompson needed to make a great save to keep out a goalbound shot from just under his crossbar after 63 minutes, and Ben Hoskin and Alex Coleman made vital tackles to preserve their side’s lead.

Dom Craig almost doubled Colne’s lead after 80 minutes when he saw his shot pushed round the post by Dovey and from the corner, saw his sidefoot shot fly just over. And Craig released Boyle in the closing minutes, but Dovey blocked his close range shot.

The Reds might have added another goal in injury time when Boyle and Taylor cut through the defence but failed to find a killer finish.

The Reds now wait to see who they will meet in the semi-final.

On Saturday, Colne suffered only their second league defeat of the season as they went down 4-0 at promotion rivals Runcorn Linnets.

Despite being on top in the opening stages, the Reds failed to put away their chances and paid the price.

Colne looked to have taken the lead after 13 minutes when Boyle fired home from close range only to be denied by an off-side flag.

Two minutes later, Hart’s diagonal shot came off the far post with Linnets keeper Dean Porter well beaten.

Thompson made a good save to keep out a shot by Mark Houghton and was relieved to see Kurt Sherlock’s 25-yard shot come back off his bar.

But Thompson was beaten when a low cross from the right wing was turned home by Antony Hickey from close range after 40 minutes.

On the stroke of half-time, Hickey doubled Runcorn’s lead when he headed home at the far post following a long free kick from the right wing.

In the second half, Boyle forced a good save from Porter, pushing his shot round the near post after 55 minutes.

On the hour, the Reds looked to have been awarded a penalty when Boyle was pushed to the ground from behind, but the referee awarded a goal kick to the home side.

Colne again fell victim to a free kick after 71 minutes when Freddie Potter headed home Runcorn’s third goal.

And five minutes later, the Reds were reduced to 10 men when Marc Young was sent off for a two-footed tackle.

Colne’s misery was completed after 83 minutes when Kyle Hamid fired home from a half clearance.

Colne are in league action tomorrow at Congleton Town.