Reds pegged back but stay on track

Simon Nangle battles for the ball.
Simon Nangle battles for the ball.

Colne had to settle for a point at AFC Liverpool on Wednesday night as the 10-man hosts grabbed an injury time equaliser.

But the Reds now lie a point behind leaders Runcorn Linnets with a game in hand, with three games remaining to try and win the title.

Colne came close to an opener after 10 minutes when Alex Coleman sent a powerful header inches over from a corner.

Liverpool keeper Josh O’Connell produced some good saves to keep the Reds at bay, and after 22 minutes, he denied Jay Hart with a one-handed stop before Danny Boyle’s follow-up was cleared off the line by a defender.

There was a warning for the Reds on 35 minutes when Emini Adenbengro had the ball in the net only to be denied by an off-side flag.

But Colne looked the better side and made the breakthrough after 40 minutes when Lee Pugh’s long throw into the area was headed on by Ben Wharton to Simon Nangle at the far post, who controlled the ball on his chest before firing across goal into the top corner.

Three minutes later, Wharton’s through ball sent Boyle through on goal, and when he was pulled back by Jonathan Swatton just outside the area, the Liverpool defender received a red card.

As the second half began, Wharton saw his goal bound shot pushed round the post by O’Connell, but on the hour, Tony Aghayere did well to hold on to a dipping volley by Brandon Gaskell.

Five minutes later, Joel Melia curled a shot over with a clear sight of goal , and with time running out, a high ball was punched clear by Aghayere punched clear, but returned to the far post where Dimitri Christou fired home an equaliser.

On Saturday, Colne beat Bootle 1-0 at the XLCR Stadium as Nangle scored with four minutes remaining.

Bootle were the last team to beat the Reds at the beginning of April and once again looked capable of providing an upset.

Hart’s diagonal shot flew just wide of the far post, before Spencer Jordan was clearly tripped in the area but had to settle for a corner kick. Michael Morrison’s header from the resulting cross was saved by Bootle keeper Daniel O’Connor.

In the second half, O’Connor pushed Melia’s shot over his crossbar, while at the other end, Aghayere needed to make vital saves to keep out shots from Michael Ordish.

But Colne made the breakthrough with just four minutes left when a free kick reached Morrison on the left, and he knocked the ball across the face of goal for Nangle to come in at the far post and fire home the winner.

Last Thursday night, Colne drew 1-1 at home to Atherton Collieries as they rescued a vital point with nine men in a dramatic comeback.

The visitors got off to the better start and wasted a series of chances, with James Ball shooting over when clean through and Justin Pickering seeing his free kick curl just past the far post.

But Ben Hardcastle gave Colls the lead after 15 minutes with a 20 yard shot just inside the left hand post through a crowded area.

In the second half, Hart became involved in an off-the-ball incident and was sent off. Five minutes later, Dean Stott was adjudged to have fouled Jordan Cover as he chased a long ball and the referee again produced a red card.

The Reds responded well and they were rewarded after 78 minutes when Jordan beat several defenders on a run into the penalty area and fired home the equaliser.

On Saturday Colne host Cammell Laird, before they travel to West Didsbury and Chorlton on Tuesday.