Pride in defeat as Colne’s play-off dreams come to an end

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Colne’s play-off semi-final at Farsley Celtic proved to be a game too far for the Reds as they went down to a comprehensive defeat to a stronger side on Tuesday night.

Colne began brightly enough with some good crosses into the home penalty area and good through balls for Jason Hart to chase up front.

But Farsley made good clearances from their penalty area on each occasion and their keeper showed confident handling of high balls in his goalmouth.

As the game progressed, it was the home side who pushed forward and forced a series of corners.

After 27 minutes, a corner kick was headed on at the near post and fell in the goalmouth where Aiden Savory forced the ball home from close range in a scramble in the six yard box to give Farsley the lead.

Five minutes later, Richard Marshall brought a good save from Colne keeper Greg Hartley with his shot on the turn as Farsley looked to increase their lead.

But as Colne looked for an equaliser, Lee Pugh’s long throw was half cleared from the home penalty area and Phil Dean blasted a shot over the crossbar of the Farsley goal.

And Alex Coleman’s cross was claimed by home keeper Graeme McKibbin off the head of Jack Lynch.

After 40 minutes, Colne lost skipper Simon Nangle with concussion and brought on Adam Morning in his place.

Two minutes later, a Farsley attack on the right wing produced a diagonal ball into the Colne penalty area and as Hartley came to cut out the danger, he misjudged the flight of the ball which flew past him and was knocked into the net by James Walshaw to double the home side’s lead.

As Farsley pressed home their advantage, they forced another corner on the stroke of half-time and when the ball was crossed to the far post and headed back into the middle of goal, Adam Clayton headed home from close range to give his side a 3-0 lead at the interval.

Oliver Wood came on a half time to add height to the Reds attack and he provided a great chance for Hart which almost brought a goal for the Reds when he shot inches over the bar having turned past two defenders in the area.

On the hour, Lewis Nightingale ran at the Colne defence and was brought down in the area by Mark Ayres but from the resulting penalty Hartley made a great save to keep out Marshall’s shot with a dive to his right.

The Reds still pushed forward looking for a way back into the game and Hart again forced his way past defenders before bringing a great save from McKibbin to block his goalbound shot at close range.

After 73 minutes, Colne were reduced to 10 men when Jack Lynch was injured and they had used all three subs.

And the Reds conceded a fourth goal when Nightingale made another penetrating run into the Colne area and fired a shot into the bottom corner to round off the scoring and see his side through to the play-off final against Ossett Albion.

The Red Army showed their appreciation at the end of the game by applauding the team off in great style having enjoyed a truly memorable season, finishing fifth in their first season in the Evo-Stik First Division North.