Colne reach final of Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy with win over Bamber Bridge

Action from Colne's game against Bamber Bridge earlier in the season
Action from Colne's game against Bamber Bridge earlier in the season
Share this article

Colne won through to the final of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy in an action packed game against Evo-Stik Premier Division side Bamber Bridge at the County Ground in Leyland.

Steve Cunningham’s side will now take on National League North side Southport or Ashton Athletic in the competition’s showpiece at the University of Bolton Stadium on April 29th.

The Reds took a first half lead but were pegged back by a Brig penalty midway through the second half but fought on to score a deserved winner with an outstanding performance.

In the opening stages, Bamber Bridge had most of the possession but Colne soon began to settle into the game and after 11 minutes Mamdou Djabi and Alex Curran combined to release Brad Lynch for a run into the penalty area from the left wing and a shot across the face of goal.

As play switched to the other end, Chris Marlow’s low cross found Danny Forbes in the Colne penalty area and his shot was blocked by the Reds defence and the danger cleared.

In the end-to-end play, Colne began to look more dangerous and after 21 minutes carved out a great chance when Brad Knox’s chip into the goalmouth found Matty Makinson but his close range header flew wide of the Brig goal.

And five minutes later, Josh Hine’s superb cross reached Djabi in the six yard box but the keeper claimed the ball at his feet.

Colne made the breakthrough after 36 minutes when Hine’s good work in midfield released Curran on a diagonal run before picking out Lynch on the left wing and as he cut into the penalty area, his shot found the back of the net through the legs of defenders at the near post to give the Reds the lead.

Bamber Bridge looked for a quick reply before half time but free kicks by Matthew Dudley and Alistair Waddecar failed to trouble Hakan Burton in the Colne goal.

Colne began the second half brightly with Curran prompting some promising build-ups and might have doubled their lead on the hour when Curran’s ball fell to Hine as he made a run through the middle but he chipped over the bar with just the keeper to beat.

But disaster struck after 70 minutes when a mix-up in the Colne defence led to a scramble in the Reds area and a Brig forward was brought down for a penalty. Waddecar fired home the spot kick to level the scores and give his side fresh hope.

But the goal only served to spur Colne on to greater efforts and with their next attack Lee Pugh fired a shot across the face of the Brig goal after Curran had found him in the penalty area from a free kick.

The Reds pushed forward again and Hine raced clear but saw keeper Danny Roccia save his shot at the expense of a corner.

The cross from the corner fell to Makinson whose shot was parried by Roccia and Pugh fired home the loose ball from close range to restore Colne’s lead at 2-1 after 73 minutes.

The Reds were in no mood to let the lead slip and played out the game with some convincing football before celebrating a memorable win at the final whistle.

Leek Town .......................... ..0

Colne.....................................0

Colne earned a valuable point when they travelled to in-form side Leek Town in the Evo-Stik West Division at the weekend but deserved to come away from Harrison Park with all three.

Djabi had an opportunity to give the visitors the lead when cutting in to the penalty area from Hine’s pass but his shot was turned around the post by goakeeper Danny Roberts.

The Reds maintained the pressure and Alex Curran had Roberts beaten with an attempt from the edge of the box but the ball kissed the outside of the upright.

Another chance fell to Djabi on the half-hour mark when his effort from close range was blocked before Billy Priestley’s follow up was well saved by Roberts.

After Aaron Bott headed over the crossbar with five minutes of the first half remaining, Lynch saw his strike turned wide for a corner.

In the second half, on the hour, Priestley guided Lynch’s cross towards the far post but the defender’s header was cleared off the line.

Colne entertain struggling Kendal Town at The Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday and travel to play-off chasing Ramsbottom United on Tuesday.