Reds keep play-off hopes alive with vital victory

Harry Pratt scored Colne's winner against Ossett Albion on Tuesday night'''''Picture: Andy Pritchard
Harry Pratt scored Colne's winner against Ossett Albion on Tuesday night'''''Picture: Andy Pritchard
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Colne kept their play-off hopes alive with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Ossett Albion on Tuesday night at the Utility Renewals Stadium.

A Harry Pratt goal in the first half proved enough to secure the three points but it needed a brilliant save by Hakan Burton deep into injury time to protect their slender lead.

The Reds got off to a promising start, as Matty Morgan tested Albion keeper Neil Bennett after only four minutes with a well-struck left foot shot that the keeper did well to save at his near post.

At the other end, Adam Porritt saw his 25-yard shot fly just wide, and Andy Hollins and Jonathan Hodgkinson combined to dispossess Adam Priestley as he jinked his way into the area.

But Albion came close to scoring when Derek Ubah found space to power a header across goal and just wide of the far post.

Colne always looked likely to open the scoring, and on the half hour Morgan supplied another cross from the left wing and Pratt found the net with a firm header.

Albion pressed forward again and forced a series of corners, but the Reds defended well and might have doubled their lead just before the interval when Pratt crossed from the byeline and two shots from team-mates were blocked.

In the second half, Albion again forced corners, but the Reds defence stood firm.

And Colne looked good on the counterattack.

Ossett had loud claims for a penalty waved aside as Colne cleared the ball from a crowded area after 87 minutes, but again the Reds stretched the visitors with good counterattacks.

Three minutes into injury time, Porritt’s shot was turned over by a spectacular, instinctive save by Burton to ensure that Colne held on to all three points.

On Saturday, in front of a bumper crowd of 695, Colne lost 3-1 at home to promotion contenders Scarborough at the Utility Renewals Stadium.

Colne took the lead after only six minutes when Alex Curran’s hard driven cross was deflected into his own net by Bailey Gooda, to silence the large contingent of travelling fans from the east coast.

But Colne’s lead was short lived as Max Wright was brought down in the area to give Boro a penalty, and James Walshaw converted the spot kick to level the scores after 15 minutes.

The Reds defence was caught out after 58 minutes when a high cross into their goalmouth saw Walshaw’s header come back off the crossbar and Wright fired home the loose ball from close range to put Boro in front.

And after 77 minutes, a through ball released Walshaw into the penalty area for a simple third goal for the visitors.

Tonight, Colne made the short trip to Shawbridge to take on beaten LFA Challenge Trophy Finalists Clitheroe in their penultimate game.

And on Saturday, the Reds round off their season at First Division North champions South Shields, who are already promoted.