COLNE went nap in both games over the week as they bounced back from the 6-1 reverse at Winsford United in style.
On Saturday the Reds won the mini-derby at Padiham 5-1, and they backed that up on Tuesday night with a 5-2 success at St Helens Town.
Colne did not have it easy at St Helens, and had to come from two goals behind on a dry, bumpy pitch in windy conditions that made controlled football difficult.
The home side took the lead after eight minutes when Chris Luby made a good run on the left wing, and his cross to the far post was knocked home by James Gardner.
Colne battled gamely against the prevailing wind, but Mark Coyne was denied when Saints keeper Chris Brinksman dived at his feet to claim the ball after 15 minutes, and Danny Boyle (pictured, left) saw his shot pushed over the bar seven minutes later.
St Helens looked dangerous going forward in the first half, and Nick McLoughlin curled a shot just over the Colne bar, before Ian Smith was only just wide of the far post with a 25-yard shot.
And with half time approaching, Danny Clarke headed a good chance wide of the Colne goal.
But, as play switched to the other end, Andy Tinker appeared to be tripped in the area and the Reds were denied a penalty when the referee waved play on.
Conditions appeared to favour Colne in the second half, with the wind at their backs, but St Helens shocked them with a second goal on 50 minutes when Clarke forced the ball home from close range from Gardner’s low cross.
As Colne fought back, James Crorken’s cross found Mark Threlfall at the far post, but his shot on the turn hit the bar and the post before ricocheting to the keeper. The Reds stepped up the pressure on the home goal and made the breakthrough on the hour when Neil Stansfield’s good work in midfield led to Crorken’s cross to the far post, where Coyne headed home to reduce the deficit.
Eight minutes later, Tinker’s diagonal free kick to the far post was headed down by Danny Gleave into the goalmouth and into the back of the net through a crowd of players to level the scores at 2-2.
Two minutes later, the Reds took the lead when Threlfall sent Coyne clear into the area to finish with a diagonal shot into the far corner of the net.
After 75 minutes, Colne gave themselves breathing space when Threlfall fired in their fourth goal after a fine individual run.
Coyne was looking for his hat-trick but Dylan Corrie headed Boyle’s cross away from under the bar to deny him a scoring opportunity.
Boyle saw his corner kick rebound into play off the near post after 86 minutes, but Threlfall rounded off an excellent night for the Reds with a strong run into the penalty area and a shot that went in off the post in the last minute.
On Saturday, at Padiham, after recent setbacks, manager Nigel Coates rang the changes and it paid off with an excellent display, as the Reds passed the ball freely in midfield to control the game almost throughout.
Threlfall gave them the perfect start after only two minutes when he controlled a low cross from the left wing before firing home a left-foot shot.
In a similar move after 15 minutes, Tinker’s cross gave Coyne a sight of goal but his shot found the midriff of Storks keeper Sean Davis on the line.
But Padiham struck back two minutes later when Stuart Telfer supplied a through ball that released Sam Heap behind the Reds defence, and he slotted past Thompson.
Colne made a series of promising attacks, but Davis was out quickly to clear when Ashley Carter broke through on Coyne’s flicked header, and John Blackley was forced to concede a corner under pressure from Threlfall’s dangerous cross.
At the other end, Nathan Egan’s darting runs kept the Reds defence on their toes, and Thompson was ideally placed to take Egan’s well-struck shot on 26 minutes.
A series of free kicks on the edge of the home area gave the Reds scoring opportunities, but Padiham held out to stay level at the interval.
As the second half began, the Reds forced a corner and Tinker’s accurate cross was met by Gleave at the far post to head firmly into the net to restore Colne’s lead.
Padiham briefly threatened as Kieran Fletcher’s free kick was headed wide by Blackley, but the Reds increased their lead on 55 minutes when Kieran Demaine’s through ball sent Threlfall into the area and he turned inside the defenders before firing home a low diagonal shot.
Some flowing moves by the Reds created further chances for Threlfall and Boyle while, at the other end, Thompson was again well placed to take Martin Parkes’ firm goalbound header.
After 70 minutes, Threlfall was tripped on the edge of the area to the right of goal, and from the resulting free kick Tinker rolled a 15-yard pass for Demaine to meet with a crisp drive into the top corner of the net from 20 yards out.
Three minutes later, Coyne beat the defenders and went round the keeper but only found the side netting.
But after 85 minutes Ben Bridson’s persistence on the left wing provided a cross for Ted Cockett, and, when Davis could only block his shot, Boyle followed up to blast in the rebound and give the Reds and emphatic 5-1 win.