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Timely reality check for Reds ahead of the season

Danny Thorpe punches the ball away ''''Pictures courtesy of Andy Pritchard
Danny Thorpe punches the ball away ''''Pictures courtesy of Andy Pritchard
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Colne went down to a heavy 5-0 defeat in their friendly against Evo-Stik Premier Division side Farsley Celtic at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.

Despite holding their high flying opponents to a goal-less scoreline at half-time, they conceded five goals in a one-sided second half as the Yorkshiremen ran out comfortable winners.

Farsley looked a strong side in the opening stages and captain Danny Ellis headed just wide at the far post from Ryan Watson’s cross after only three minutes.

But Colne fought hard to compete with Lee Pugh and Luke Higham forging good moves on the left wing and Waqas Azam supplying crosses from the right wing, looking for the head of Kyle Sambor.

At the other end, the Colne defence did well to block Will Hayhurst’s shot in their goalmouth and were relieved to see Watson’s header fly just over the bar from a good cross.

With half-time approaching, the Reds pushed forward and Brad Lynch cut inside from the left wing but fired his shot over the bar.

And Colne might well have taken the lead after 43 minutes when Sambor’s cross to the far post was half cleared to Alex Curran, but his goal-bound shot was helped into the net by Lynch in an off-side position in the goalmouth.

With the scoresheet blank at half-time, it was all still to play for, but a series of chances fell to Farsley in the first few minutes, with Colne keeper Danny Thorpe making a good save before Chris Lynch headed the ball off the Reds’ goal-line, and Celtic’s Paul Walker saw his header come back off the postin a subsequent attack.

And Farsley took the lead after 49 minutes when Nathan Turner slipped through the Colne defence and slotted home his side’s first goal.

After 57 minutes, Pugh made a great clearance as a cross fell invitingly to the far post in a dangerous Celtic attack, and debutant Matt Makinson made a series of clearances alongside Jonathan Hodgkinson in the Reds defence.

After 64 minutes, a good move by Hodgkinson and Brad Lynch gave Higham a sight of goal, but his shot was deflected over the visitors’ bar.

And as play switched to the other end, a long ball was headed on into the path of Walker, who raced clear and slotted home Celtic’s second goal.

Two minutes later, Farsley went further ahead when Nathan Cartman seized upon a backpass by the Reds defence and beat Thorpe with a chip into the far corner of the net to give his side a three-goal lead.

A promising move by Colne was cut out on the edge of the area, as the ball was cleared off Curran’s toes by a solid-looking defence.

But as the visitors pressed forward again, they added a fourth goal on 75 minutes when Hayhurst drove a speculative 35-yard shot goalward that Thorpe could only help into the net, despite getting a hand to the ball.

Colne looked for a consolation goal but Danny Pilkington’s inviting free kick was punched away by Farsley keeper Ed Hall at his far post, and the Reds conceded a fifth goal with five minutes left when Mattaius Britton outpaced the home defence and found the net with a low shot to round off the scoring on a good day for his side.

The game will serve as a timely reality check against a strong side from a higher league as Colne prepare for the new season.

Colne travel to Ossett United tomorrow for their last friendly before the start of the season on August 18th.

DAVE PRIESTLEY