Reds survive nerve-jangling second half to take the points

Alex Curran scores Colne's second goal against Leek Town'''''PICTURE: Andy Pritchard
Alex Curran scores Colne's second goal against Leek Town'''''PICTURE: Andy Pritchard
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Colne earned a valuable three points in an enthralling five-goal thriller against Leek Town at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.

The Reds looked to be cruising to a comfortable win with a 2-0 lead at half-time, but the visitors came back strongly in a nerve-jangling second half.

Colne started brightly, and after only three minutes Richard Taylor provided a through ball for Alex Curran to take in his stride, but Leek keeper Daniel Roberts did well to save his shot in a one-on-one confrontation.

Taylor prompted a series of attacks from midfield and sent Curran away on the right wing, before his low cross was cleared off Ollie Wood’s toes in the Leek goalmouth.

After nine minutes, a corner at the other end was headed away by Wood, and in a great counterattack, Brad Lynch broke up the left wing, and his cross to the far post was fired home by Matty Morgan to give the Reds the lead.

Five minutes later, in another end-to-end move, Wood helped on Taylor’s through ball to release Curran on a run into the area, and this time he made no mistake with his shot past the keeper to double Colne’s lead.

Leek looked for a way back into the game with some strong attacks on the left wing, and Darren Chadwick headed a high cross just over, before Mark Grocott clipped the top of Colne crossbar with an angled shot on the half hour.

And Alex Coleman and Lee Pugh made vital tackles to cut out dangerous runs on the edge of the Reds’ area.

Billy Priestley missed out on the chance of scoring on his return to the Reds when he fired over the bar from close range, as Lynch’s diagonal shot reached him at the far post in a crowded Leek goalmouth on the stroke of half-time.

As the second half began, Leek pressed forward, and after 51 minutes Robert Stevenson’s curling cross from the left wing was knocked in at the far post by Tim Grice to reduce the arrears to 2-1.

And in Leek’s next attack, William Reeves’ cross was headed just over the Colne bar by Grice.

The visitors threatened to dominate the game as they tightened up in midfield, but some great passing and possession football by Colne held them at bay.

The Reds defended well and scrambled the ball off the goal-line when an equaliser looked on the cards after 76 minutes.

And four minutes later, Colne broke to the other end, where Lynch cut into the area past two defenders and was brought down for a penalty.

Curran fired home the spot kick to seemingly settle the game at 3-1 for the Reds.

But within a minute, Leek struck back as Stevenson broke through the middle and found the Colne net with a shot into the bottom corner to set up a grandstand finish.

Leek looked for an equaliser in the closing stages, but the Reds were in no mood to surrender the lead, and ran out worthy winners at the final whistle.

Tomorrow, Colne are at home to Colwyn Bay, kick-off 3 p.m.

DAVE PRIESTLEY