Reds lose ground as they ship six to league leaders

Alex Curran finds the net for Colne
Alex Curran finds the net for Colne

Colne crashed to a six goal defeat against top of the table Runcorn Linnets at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.

The Reds were hoping to gain ground in the leading pack of the Evo-Stik West, but came out second best in a hectic, wind-affected game.

Connor Hughes goes for goal from a set-piece

Connor Hughes goes for goal from a set-piece

Runcorn took the lead after only eight minutes when Kristian Holt found the top corner with a curling shot that no keeper would have saved.

As Runcorn kept up their attacks with some high balls into the area, Chris Lynch made good headed clearances and Waqas Azam blocked a shot by Paul Shanley.

Colne came close to levelling the scores after 20 minutes when Kyle Sambor saw his close range shot blocked in the goalmouth after an exchange of passes with Azam.

But five minutes later, Linnets doubled their lead when Danny O’Brien’s low free kick to the far post was fired home by Freddie Potter.

Things got worse for Colne on the half hour when a harshly-awarded penalty gave Linnets the chance to extend their lead further, and O’Brien converted from the spot for a three-goal lead.

Five minutes later, Alex Curran found Azam in a good position, but he shot just wide and the Reds forced a series of corners in a good attacking spell.

Colne were given fresh hope three minutes before the interval when Curran’s high cross to the far post found the net off the fingertips of Linnets keeper Dylan Forth, and the Reds looked forward to staging a revival in the second half.

But their hopes were dashed after 53 minutes when Connor McCarthy scored a fourth goal for Linnets from close range, as Colne failed to clear a free kick.

Colne pressed forward, and Connor Hughes’ cross found Sambor at the far post, but his shot was blocked, and Matty Morgan’s cross minutes later went begging.

The visitors gave away a series of free kicks just outside their penalty area, but shots by Hughes and Curran failed to find the net. And a glancing header by Bradley Knox was saved by Forth on the line.

After 82 minutes, Linnets went further ahead when a late tackle in the area saw O’Brien again converted from the spot for a 5-1 lead.

In the closing stages, Hughes forced a good save with a well-struck 20 yard shot.

But ain injury time, Shanley broke through at the other end to round off the scoring with a sixth goal for Linnets.

Tomorrow Colne travel to Market Drayton Town, kick-off 3 p.m., and the Reds are at home to Kidsgrove Athletic on Tuesday, kick-off 7-45 p.m.