Seventh heaven as Colne run riot at XLCR Stadium

Jonathan Hodgkinson battles for the ball.
Jonathan Hodgkinson battles for the ball.

Colne enjoyed a seven-goal romp against St Helens Town in the North West Counties League at the XLCR Stadium on Saturday.

The Reds set a blistering pace in the opening stages and had claims for a penalty turned down when Chris Anderson appeared to be tripped in the area after only three minutes.

Thomas Berwick puts into a 2-0 lead.

Thomas Berwick puts into a 2-0 lead.

But the Reds took the lead a minute later when Saints keeper Ciaran Gibson could only palm away Jason Hart’s angled shot and Tom Berwick knocked in the loose ball from six yards out.

The visitors had no answer to Hart’s electrifying pace and he again raced clear on a great through ball only to lift his shot inches over.

When Colne forced a series of corners, Marc Young’s far post header was only kept out by a superb diving save by Gibson.

Colne doubled their lead when Hart broke clear on the left wing after 11 minutes and his low cross into the area found Berwick via a couple of deflections, and he made no mistake with a well-struck shot from 12 yards out.

St Helens fought bravely and came close when Tom Lightbody saw his shot come back off the bar six minutes later, and shortly afterwards Lee Crompton had a close range shot blocked at the far post following a corner.

The Reds continued to create chances with Anderson outstanding in midfield and Berwick was denied another goal when Gibson dived at his feet as he went clear on a great through ball from Young.

Colne grabbed a third goal on the stroke of half-time when Hart broke clear and fired home past the keeper, sustaining an injury in the process.

Early in the second half, Jonathan Hodgkinson cut out a dangerous attack with a vital challenge as Andrew Gillespie made a penetrating run into the Colne penalty area.

But on the hour, substitute Mark Coyne, on for the injured Hart, grabbed the Reds’ fourth when he forced his way past defenders before shooting past Gibson.

Six minutes later, Colne took advantage of a half clearance when Berwick fired home a 25-yard diagonal shot to complete his hat trick.

Coyne put Colne six goals ahead after 73 minutes with another fine individual goal and then completed his hat trick on 85 minutes with a close range header from Alex Grice’s cross.

Colne travel to high flying Runcorn Linnets on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m., before travelling to Bacup on Wednesday.