Reds boost play-off hopes with two vital victories

Colne apply the pressure against Kendal Town
Colne apply the pressure against Kendal Town

Colne claimed six crucial points in their play-off chase over the week.

On Saturday, the Reds won 3-1 at home to struggling Kendal Town, before a big win by the same margin at rivals Ramsbottom United on Tuesday night.

At high fliers Ramsbottom, Colne took the points thanks to a dazzling first half display.

Three goals in the first half hour were enough to put the game beyond their opponents, and although Ramsbottom fought hard in the second half, the Reds ran out worthy winners in the end.

Colne took the game to their hosts right from the kick-off with Alex Curran making some stunning runs in midfield, and Brad Lynch outpacing the defenders on the wing.

After 12 minutes, Lynch burst into the penalty area, wide of goal and saw his shot blocked by the keeper’s legs at the expense of a corner.

The resulting cross to the far post found Billy Priestley, but his header was blocked on the line and cleared by the home defence.

Colne’s enterprising attacking play paid off after 16 minutes when Lee Pugh’s through ball was helped on by Mamadou Djabi to give Lynch a sight of goal, and his curling shot was pushed away by the keeper’s acrobatic save.

The ball fell to Curran, who found the bottom corner of the net with a diagonal shot through a crowded goalmouth to give the Reds the lead.

As Ramsbottom looked for a quick reply, Nic Evangelinos curled a shot just over the Colne bar before Kieran Lugsden headed wide from a dangerous cross into the Reds goalmouth.

But after 25 minutes, a superb run by Curran took him into the home penalty area and his firmly-struck low cross was knocked home at the far post by Richie Baker to double Colne’s lead.

Four minutes later, Waqas Azam made ground on the right wing and released Josh Hine for a run into the penalty area, where he beat the keeper with a good finishing shot into the far corner of the net to put the Reds 3-0 ahead.

In the second half, Colne looked to increase their lead but the Ramsbottom defence repeatedly cut out through balls to frustrate their attacks.

And the home side looked to reduce the arrears with fresh legs from the bench.

After 58 minutes, Anthony Donaldson looked to have a great chance with the ball at his feet in the Colne goalmouth but Priestley cleared the ball with a vital tackle to deny the substitute.

After 80 minutes, Ramsbottom pulled a goal back when the ball was only half cleared following a corner kick and Evangelinos scored in a scramble in the penalty area with the Reds defence unable to clear the ball.

But it was too late to affect the outcome of the game and Colne held on with some firm defending to deny the home side any further reward on a night that belonged to the Reds.

On Saturday, Colne collected another three points with a workmanlike display against Kendal Town at the Sovereign Play Stadium.

Colne made the breakthrough after 28 minutes when Curran’s run released Lynch on the left, who cut into the area and found the net with a deflected shot.

Five minutes before half time, Colne doubled their lead when Priestley’s high cross from the bye-line was headed home at the far post by Ollie Wood.

In the second half Kendal staged a fight back and after 65 minutes, the visitors reduced the deficit when Colne lost the ball in midfield and Daniel Keenan raced away and scored.

But after 77 minutes, Morgan’s cross was met by Curran and Mendes could only block his well-struck shot before Djabi followed up to fire home the loose ball from close range.

On Saturday, Colne are at leaders Atherton Collieries, kick-off 3 p.m.