Double agent Bond strikes to earn boss first victory

COLNE V CONGLETON: Nathan Bond celebrates his opening goal.'Photo Ben Parsons
COLNE V CONGLETON: Nathan Bond celebrates his opening goal.'Photo Ben Parsons
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Colne’s new striker Nathan Bond gave Steve Cunningham his first win as Reds manager with a brace against Congleton Town at the XLCR Stadium on Saturday.

Bond was one of three new signings on show in the 2-1 triumph, alongside Marc Young and former Burnley midfielder Chris Anderson as Cunningham strengthened the side.

The Reds made a good start to the game in a bright opening period, and Ted Cockett almost gave them the lead after 18 minutes when he broke into the penalty area but saw his shot pushed wide by keeper Martin Pearson when a goal looked certain.

However, Colne did not have long to wait for the opening goal, and after 35 minutes a good run and cross by Jason Hart on the right wing was finished off by Bond’s header in front of goal, as the ball found the back of the net, despite the despairing efforts of Pearson, who got a hand to it.

Within minutes Colne keeper Chris Thompson made a vital save at the other end to prevent Kurtis Gill from equalising in a one-on-one confrontation as the Congleton midfielder broke clear on a through ball.

But the Reds struck again after 41 minutes when a long diagonal free kick found Bond at the far post, and his well-timed header gave the keeper no chance and sent Colne in with a 2-0 lead at the interval.

As the second half began, the Reds looked set to increase their lead when Paddy O’Brien got to the bye-line, but his unselfish cross into the six-yard box went begging with no teammate able to get to the ball.

But Congleton came back strongly, with Scott Sephton heading narrowly wide and Lee Healey firing a free kick inches past the post.

Jonathan Hodgkinson did well to dispossess Jamie Turner in the Colne penalty area, and Anderson made a vital clearance under pressure following a Congleton corner.

Thompson produced another crucial save in a one-on-one with Jay Burgess after 65 minutes, and was rescued by his defence when Young cleared the ball off the goal-line with his keeper beaten ten minutes later.

But after 86 minutes a late tackle in the penalty area gave Healey the opportunity to pull a goal back from the penalty spot and reduce the arrears.

This made for a nail biting finale in which both sides had chances, as Hart and Mickey Woodvine almost caught the visitors out, but Colne deservedly came out on top.

Tomorrow Colne travel to Stockport Sports, kick-off 3 p.m.