Colne FC 2-1 Bamber Bridge

2018/19 Challenge Trophy Semi-Final, sponsored by Partners Foundation. Report by Jake Hartley-Moore (UCLan)

Colne edged past Bamber Bridge at the County Ground to book themselves a place in the final of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy on Wednesday evening.

Substitute Lee Pugh's poached finish after a goalkeeping error by Danny Roccia was enough to ensure that it would be Colne facing either Southport or Ashton Athletic in the final. 

It was Bamber Bridge who staged the first effort on goal in the tie as captain Matt Lawlor saw his headed effort from Danny Wisdom’s free kick go wide of the goal. 

Bradley Lynch was starting to cause problems for the Brig defence and nearly opened the scoring, after some good build up play allowed for him to strike an effort across goal only for it to drag wide of the right-hand post. 

Shortley afterwards, Lynch did punish the Brig defence for not being tight enough as he collected the ball inside the box before firing a low strike which deflected of defender Christopher Churchman and evaded a helpless Roccia into the bottom corner. 

Winger Alistair Waddecar came agonisingly close to levelling for Bamber Bridge after half-time as his whipped 22 yard free kick just sailed past the right hand post. 

Wisdom very nearly gave Brig a lifeline when his headed effort from a corner was well saved by keeper Hakan Burton. 

Youngster Joshua Hine should have put the game beyond reach for Bamber Bridge as he latched onto a hooked through ball before his dinked effort from outside of the box, swerved wide of Roccia's left-hand post.

A calamitous defensive error gave Brig a lifeline in the game as Colne keeper Burton and his defender collided in the box giving Scott Harries an open net to finish. With the striker being swiped down by Burton gifting Brig a penalty. 

Waddecar coolly slotted his penalty into the bottom left corner in the final ten minutes with the game looking like it was going to penalties. 

With 15 minutes left in the game substitute Lee Pugh who returned to action after three and a half months out injured scored a poachers effort. 

Roccia made a smart save originally from a flicked effort from the corner, only for the ball to drop in Pugh’s path before latching on and finishing calmly. 

Despite some late pressure, it was Colne who were victorious and will face either Southport FC or Ashton Athletic in April's Partners Foundation Challenge Trophy Final at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Attendance: 316

Colne FC

Burton, Azam, Poscha, Coleman, Makinson, Baker, Hine, Knox, Djabi, Curran, Lynch

Subs: Nangle, Morgan, Wood, McKenzie, Pugh

Bamber Bridge

Roccia, Churchman, Dodd, Lawlor, Doughty, Wisdom, Waddecar, Forbes, Dudley, Harris, Marlow

Subs: Linney, Thomas, McKnight, Buchan, Rigby

Referee: Mr Peter Shacklady

Assistants: Mr Keith Martin and Mr Andrew Cottrell

Fourth Official: Mr Peter Simm