Wood’s early goal enough to send Colne into semi-final

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Colne progressed to the semi-final of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy with a narrow win against Charnock Richard at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Tuesday evening.

A single goal scored by Oliver Wood after four minutes was enough to see the Reds through against an enterprising Charnock Richard side that never gave up.

The Reds got off to a great start when Matty Morgan’s run on the left wing created the opening for Wood to drive home a low shot from a narrow angle after only four minutes.

And as Colne continued to create chances, Wood almost added a second after 12 minutes when Brad Lynch’s cross reached him in front of goal, but Charnock Richard keeper Adam Halton produced a great save to push away his point blank header.

Charnock Richard began to find their feet and Nathan Fairhurst had two good efforts cleared before he curled a shot just wide.

At the other end, Morgan and Lynch both had shots deflected wide.

But the visitors came close to an equaliser after 26 minutes when Jacob Higham was inches away from Joe Noblet’s low cross at the far post.

And three minutes later, a free kick by Noblet reached Carl Grimshaw for a powerful header which was saved on the line by Hakan Burton.

With half-time approaching, the game swung back in Colne’s favour as Wood brought a good save from Halton with a goal-bound shot and Lynch saw his shot deflected wide after an excellent build-up by the Reds.

As the second half began, Charnock Richard won a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the area, but Noblet’s shot was blocked by the wall and James Walker fired the rebound wide of the target.

After 72 minutes, a great through ball by Alex Coleman released Niall Watson but his angled shot flew over.

And minutes later, a Lee Pugh free kick found Krishnan Patel who blasted a 35-yard shot just over.

In the closing stages, a 25-yard free kick by Charnock Richard’s Spencer Bibby brought a superb reaction save from Burton, before a well-worked move found Watson on the edge of the area but his shot flew just wide.

The Reds ran out worthy winners and will look forward to the draw for the next round.

On Saturday, Colne had to settle for a point after taking an early lead at Chasetown.

Colne got off to a great start when Alex Curran’s 25-yard free kick was deflected into the bottom corner by Simon Nangle after only five minutes.

The Reds might have extended their lead five minutes later when an end-to-end move saw the ball cleared up the right wing to Brad Knox, and Curran’s low cross found Matty Morgan in front of goal but his shot flew over.

On 15 minutes, a free kick by Curran was met by Billy Priestley, but his header brought a great save from Curtis Pond.

But the home side came more into the game and on the half hour, Danny Cocks released Jazz Luckie, but Hakan Burton raced out of his area to clear the danger.

And in a subsequent attack, Matty Makinson made a vital headed clearance.

With half-time approaching, Curran’s free kick flew inches wide from 30 yards, and Brad Lynch chipped the ball just over with only the keeper to beat.

Early in the second half, Colne conceded a needless free kick, and Cocks’ high cross was headed home by Luckie to level the scores.

As the Reds looked to restore their lead, Lynch and Curran had shots blocked, while George Cater forced a good save from Burton, and Cocks tested the Colne keeper with another shot.

But Colne finished happy with a hard earned point as results went in their favour.

On Saturday, Colne are at home to Skelmersdale United, kick-off 3 p.m.