Colne took three valuable points in a closely-fought contest against Prescot Cables at the Utility Renewals Stadium on Saturday, winning 2-1.
The Reds’ recent signing from Clitheroe, Ollie Crankshaw, weighed in with two first half goals, to give Colne a platform to see out the game with some strong defending late on.
In the opening minutes, Alex Curran and Simon Nangle both had shots off target, and Shiraz Khan saw his effort cleared after a great run.
After 17 minutes, Crankshaw’s cross from the left was half cleared to Lee Pugh, whose well-driven shot was cleared off the line.
Then Lee Gaskell’s header on in midfield found Danny Wilkins, and his quick through ball released Crankshaw down the left, and he shot into the bottom corner to give Colne the lead.
As Prescot tried to hit back, Chris Lynch diverted a shot over his own goal, before Harry Cain shot wide.
But as the Reds attacked again, Pugh’s hard-driven cross was knocked towards goal by Nangle, but Cables keeper Marcus Burgess saved on the line.
Two minutes before half-time, Crankshaw came in from the left and fired a low shot from a narrow angle into the far corner.
In the second half, Cables forced a series of corners, and on the hour, the Reds defence only half cleared a high cross into their goalmouth, and Jonathan Hodgkinson blocked the follow-up on the line.
The referee sent Hodgkinson off for allegedly handling the ball, and awarded Cables a penalty.
Jordan Wynne took the spot kick, but Hakan Burton got down to his left to save.
As Colne looked for a third goal, Curran’s point-blank header was kept out by an instinctive save by Burgess.
But after 75 minutes, Lloyd Dean reduced the arrears with a glancing header from a left wing cross.
In the closing stages, Colne defended stubbornly, and ran out worthy winners.
Colne went out of the Integro Cup to Premier Division Workington on Tuesday night, losing 2-1 at the Utility Renewals Stadium.
The game gave Steve Cunningham the chance to try out some of his youth team players, and they emerged with great credit.
Colne keeper Matthew Green claimed the ball at the feet of Tommy Whitehead after 15 minutes.
Colne began to build good attacks of their own, with Jordan Hilton and Lewis Hanley linking well down the right, and Elijah Bello’s shot was deflected wide, before Lee Pugh saw his shot fly just over.
After 34 minutes however, Workington came close when Whitehead’s shot flew just wide of the far post.
Two minutes later, the visitors went one better when Robert Wilson curled a shot into the bottom corner.
On the stroke of half time, Sam Joel forced a great save from Green, before Jonathan Hodgkinson cleared the loose ball.
Colne contributed to their own downfall on the hour when they appealed for a foul while Workington played on, and Joel had a simple chance to score his side’s second goal.
The Reds stepped up the pace and the pressure paid off after 68 minutes when Pugh’s long throw was flicked on by Danny Wilkins, and Adam Morning despatched a dipping volley over the keeper for a superb goal.
Colne continued to push forward, with Finley Devenney outstanding at right back, and William McMurtrie prompting attacks from midfield.
In the closing minutes, the Reds might have taken the game to penalties when Morning’s cross reached Hanley at the far post, but his header flew over.
On Saturday, Colne travel to Ramsbottom United for a 3 p.m. kick-off, with no midweek game.