Late heartbreak for Colne in play-off semi-final against Leek Town

Reece Webb-Foster's effort at Leek is disallowed for off-side''''''''''''Pictures: Andy Pritchard
Reece Webb-Foster's effort at Leek is disallowed for off-side''''''''''''Pictures: Andy Pritchard

Ten-man Colne suffered late heartbreak on Wednesday night as Leek Town snatched a winner in the last minute of extra time.

In front of a crowd of 1,047, the Reds had levelled after Leek took an early lead, and Colne had what they thought were two good goals ruled out for off-side before the game went to extra time.

The Reds were down to 10 men by this point but looked like holding on for penalties before Leek’s late winner.

In an even start, Alex Curran shot just wide of the Leek goal after 12 minutes.

But the home side looked dangerous, and after 14 minutes, Robert Stevenson broke clear and shrugged off a challenge before firing home from close range.

As Colne looked for a quick reply, Curran’s cross to the far post was headed just wide by Brad Lynch, and two minutes later Curran picked out Andy Hollins, whose shot brought a great save from Leek keeper Danny Roberts.

On the half hour, Colne again came close when Reece Webb-Foster headed just wide from Lee Pugh’s diagonal cross.

But after 36 minutes, Brad Knox created space in the area and Webb-Foster was on hand to blast home the equaliser.

Three minutes later as Colne cleared a corner from their penalty area, Waqas Azam and Curran broke to see Lynch find the net with a great finish, but it was ruled out by an off-side decision.

The second half began with Colne pushing forward and on the hour Pugh’s free kick into the area was headed on by Billy Priestley, and Webb-Foster was quickest to the ball to fire home at the far post, but again it was ruled out by an off-side decision.

Richie Baker saw his blocked after Pugh’s corner had been half cleared by the Leek defence, but Leek came back strongly, with Stevenson the main threat and Jordan Johnson having a shot blocked after 70 minutes.

Colne almost took the lead after 82 minutes when Webb-Foster’s low cross was knocked against the bar by Knox and cleared.

With a minute of normal time remaining, Webb-Foster was shown a red card after jumping into an opponent with his elbow raised.

In extra time, the Reds battled hard to contain the Leek attack and looked to hit the home side on the break.

It looked as if they would survive, but in the last minute, a corner was half cleared and fell to Tim Grice who blasted the ball into the roof of the net from a narrow angle for the winning goal.

DAVE PRIESTLEY