Reds win crucial clash to raise hopes of play-off slot

Alex Curran's effort finds the net against Radcliffe'''Picture: Andy Pritchard
Alex Curran's effort finds the net against Radcliffe'''Picture: Andy Pritchard
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Colne claimed a fifth-successive win against title-chasing Radcliffe on Tuesday night, to give their play-off hopes a significant boost.

At the Sovereign Play Stadium, an Alex Curran goal after 13 minutes was enough to secure the points.

And while Steve Cunningham’s side still sit just outside the play-off places in sixth, they are a point off third with three favourable fixtures to come against mid-table Widnes and struggling Clitheroe and relegated Skelmersdale United.

Against Radcliffe, Colne started brightly and Brad Knox saw his well-struck shot fly just over, before the Reds had a let-off when a cross from Lee Neville flew across goal, only needing a touch.

After 13 minutes, Waqas Azam, Simon Nangle and Knox combined to create a chance for Curran, and he found the far corner with a 25-yard shot to give Colne the lead.

On the half hour, Brad Lynch went down in the box as he won the ball from Radcliffe keeper Oliver Martin, but the referee awarded just a corner.

As the Reds continued to create chances, Azam and Curran exchanged passes before Curran’s shot was deflected wide.

As Radcliffe struggled to contain Colne, Reece Webb-Foster put Lynch through, but a defender got back to clear.

As half-time approached, Radcliffe threatened, and Craig Undfield’s shot was cleared off the line by Marcus Poscha.

As the second half began, Azam and Curran again combined to carve out a chance, but Curran shot across the face of goal.

Scott Metcalfe forced a great save from Hakan Burton with a well-struck free kick, before Pugh’s free kick was dropped by Martin, and Matty Makinson’s chip was cleared off the line.

As Colne brought on fresh legs, Matty Morgan’s angled shot brought a good save from Martin as the Reds looked to hit their opponents on the counterattack.

The final whistle came after seven minutes added time and was greeted with celebrations by the Colne faithful.

On Saturday, Colne left it late to snatch a 1-0 win at home to Droylsden, just one minute of the game remaining, as Lynch’s shot was deflected in.

DAVE PRIESTLEY