Curran at the double as Reds claim vital victory

Danny Wilkins outjumps the Goole defence
Danny Wilkins outjumps the Goole defence
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Colne opened 2018 with a vital three points, beating bottom of the table Goole 3-2 on New Year’s Day in the Evo-Stik League First Division North.

The Reds were without several first choice players, but the young players drafted in rose to the occasion and ultimately saw the side through to a hard-fought win.

Ollie Crankshaw and Elijah Bello in action for the Reds against Goole

Ollie Crankshaw and Elijah Bello in action for the Reds against Goole

Colne began the game on the front foot and took the lead after only five minutes when Ollie Crankshaw found the bottom corner of the net with a 20-yard shot through a crowded penalty area.

Goole came back with some good attacks and forced a series of corners, but Jonathan Hodgkinson cleared several efforts from the Colne goalmouth before Grant Allott blasted a shot over the bar from a half chance.

After 14 minutes, Simon Nangle found Danny Wilkins with a pass up the wing and Wilkins’ diagonal ball fell into the path of Alex Curran, who headed past the keeper and just inside the right hand post to double Colne’s lead.

Goole responded again with some dangerous attacks, and Devonte Morton saw his header strike the top of the Colne crossbar after a penetrating run by Tom Sawyer on 20 minutes.

Goalscorer Ollie Crankshaw

Goalscorer Ollie Crankshaw

And in Goole’s next attack, Hakan Burton made a great save to keep out Jordan Turner’s shot as he slipped through the Reds defence.

Colne withstood further pressure by Goole, with Chris Lynch and Luke Tabone clearing high crosses from the goalmouth, but the home side reduced the deficit after 36 minutes when a diagonal free kick into the penalty area was headed home by Allott at the far post with a powerful finish.

Colne came close when Elijah Bello shot across the face of goal following an excellent build-up as the Reds reached half-time 2-1 ahead.

The second half began with some midfield contests as both sides looked to take control. And it was Goole who were next on the scoresheet on the hour when a free kick into the area fell to the right of goal, where Mitchell Langton crossed for Declan Howe to fire home from close range and level the scores at 2-2.

As Goole were lifted by the goal, Steven Jeff blasted a shot just wide in another dangerous attack by the home side.

But the Colne midfield began to find more room, and some great runs by Curran created a series of promising chances for the Reds.

And when Matty Morgan got to the bye-line, his cross to the far post just evaded Curran, with the keeper stranded.

Colne’s enterprising play was rewarded after 73 minutes when Wilkins did well to reach a long cross and return it into the penalty area, where Curran followed up and drove the ball through a crowd of players into the bottom corner of the net for the winning goal.

Substitute Finley Devenney did well in the right back position, clearing a series of dangerous balls to turn defence into attack in the closing stages of the game, and Will McMurtrie brought fresh legs to the midfield to exploit the stretched home defence as Goole pushed forward.

Tomorrow, Colne travel to league leaders Prescot Cables, with kick-off at 3 p.m.

The Reds then host Ramsbottom United on Saturday, January 13th.

DAVE PRIESTLEY