Colne got some silverware on the table to kick off their new season when they lifted the North West Counties League Champions v Cup Winners’ Trophy on Friday night at the XLCR Stadium.
It was sweet revenge for the Reds against Atherton Collieries, who had beaten them in the MEN United Cup Final at the end of last season.
And this was a well-deserved 2-0 win, with goals by Dom Craig and Matty Beadle.
The first half was a midfield battle, with chances few and far between at either end, although Colne looked the more likely to break the deadlock and Colls keeper Adam Reid was by far the busier of the two custodians.
Reid was in action on the half hour when he punched the ball clear off the head of Ben Wharton as Simon Nangle’s free kick reached him in the goalmouth. And five minutes later, Reid was at full stretch to push Ben Hoskin’s cross out for a corner as Nangle homed in.
With half-time approaching, Colne turned up the pressure and Beadle and Danny Boyle both had shots blocked in the visitors’ penalty area.
And Reid once again kept his side on level terms when he got down to block Nangle’s close range shot in a one-on- one scoring chance.
The Reds continued to press in the second half but Colls hit back with some good attacks on the break, and Tony Aghayere made a good save at the foot of the post from Bradley Cooke. In the end-to- end action, Ben Wharton and Beadle came close for Colne while Justin Pickering and Christian Holt threatened for Colls with some good attacking play.
On 79 minutes, Colne made the breakthrough when Wharton got to the bye-line on the left wing and his cross found Craig, whose first time shot came back off the bar, and Craig kept a cool head to fire home the loose ball.
And Colne doubled their lead on 87 minutes when Craig’s low cross from the right found Beadle, who scored with a low diagonal shot.
Colne ran out worthy winners and were presented with the trophy by North West Counties League Chairman Paul Lawler on a memorable night for the Reds.
Meanwhile, Colne continued their pre-season preparations with an impressive performance against Ashton United from the Evo-Stik Premier Division on Tuesday night at the XLCR Stadium.
The Reds fought back from a goal down at the interval to earn a well-deserved draw thanks to an equaliser from Jake Hargreaves from a Ben Hoskin cross.
United went ahead after 37 minutes when a high free kick into the goalmouth was fired home by Danny Wilkins.