Colne up and running

Mark Threlfall
Mark Threlfall

COLNE clinched their first win of the season at Squires Gate on Tuesday night - having lost out at Winsford United on Saturday.

The Reds got off to a great start after five minutes when Sam Hayes’ high ball tempted the Squires Gate keeper Neil Beesley out of his area, and Mark Threlfall won the challenge and slotted home despite the close attentions of the defenders.

Colne might have doubled their lead five minutes later following a superb build up involving Ted Cockett and Neil Stansfield, but Matt Tindall’s close range shot was deflected wide off a defender.

At the other end, Jamie Scott made an excellent reflex save when he kept out Joe Shelmerdine’s header, clawing it away from under the crossbar.

But Colne continued to create chances and went further ahead after 24 minutes when Tindall outpaced the home defence with a strong run on the left and slipped the ball inside for Stansfield to score with a well-struck shot from 15 yards.

Keeper Beesley rode his luck on a couple of occasions when he tackled Threlfall on the edge of the area in a one-on-one, and also when Michael Cruz failed to find the target after Beesley had attempted to head the ball clear.

In the second half Squires Gate were a different prosposition and piled pressure on the Colne goal.

And on the hour, they pulled a goal back when Andy Harvey picked up a loose pass in midfield and made a run into the Colne penalty area.

Although Scott dived at his feet to block his run, the loose ball eventually fell to Tom Benfield, who found the net with a powerfully-driven shot through a crowded penalty area.

Scott was soon in action again, this time saving a shot from Harvey with his feet.

But Colne might have made the game safe with chances at the other end for Joe Garvin, Stansfield and Threlfall in a purple patch midway through the half.

But in the closing stages, as Squires Gate pushed forward strongly, the Colne defence again fought a determined rearguard action to deny them an equaliser, with Steve Pickup outstanding in the air.

On Saturday, a Sam Hayes goal in a late rally by Colne was not enough to give them a share of the points as they lost 3-1 at Winsford.

The Reds got off to a disastrous start when they fell behind after only two minutes when Ryan Stewart scored direct from a free kick with keeper Scott unsighted.

Six minutes later, Pickup almost grabbed an equaliser when he saw his shot cleared off the goal-line after meeting a corner kick at the far post.

But after 19 minutes, Colne conceded a second goal when Andy Hirst robbed the hesitant Reds defence to lay on a chance for Dean McGregor to fire home from close range.

Colne battled hard to get a hold on the game and their frustration showed just before half-time when Threlfall and Winsford central defender Daniel Thomas both received yellow cards after a confrontation.

Tactical changes at half-time gave Colne the advantage after the break, but the referee refused them a penalty after 57 minutes when Hayes’ shot clearly struck an outstretched arm in the home penalty area.

And on the hour, Threlfall blasted a good chance high over the bar after Joe Garvin and Ted Cockett stretched the home defence.

After 70 minutes, Billy Priestley headed just over the bar from Neil Stansfield’s cross as the Reds looked likely to reduce the deficit.

And the goal came after 81 minutes when Matt Tindall raced clear onto a through ball on the right and his low cross was swept home from close range by Hayes.

Colne pushed forward in the closing stages looking for an equaliser and forced a series of corners.

But Winsford hit them on the break after 89 minutes when Aiden Haughton headed in a cross at the far post to seal a win for the home side.

Colne now have two home league games.

They entertain St Helens Town tomorrow at the XLCR Stadium, kick-off 3 p.m., and on Tuesday they wel.come Atherton LR with a 7-45 p.m. kick off.