COLNE will look to regain top spot in the North West Counties League Premier Division tonight — and bounce back from their first defeat of the season in which three players were sent off and their manager and his assistant were banished from the sidelines.

After a ten-match unbeaten start to the league campaign the eight-man Reds went down 4-0 at Cammell Laird 1907 on Saturday after Marc Young, captain Simon Nangle and Ben Hoskin received their marching orders in a bad tempered second half.


Colne manager Steve Cunningham, who was sent off along with his number two Liam Smith, laid the blame at the door of the referee who he said had a “horror show”.

And he is confident his side will move back above Runcorn Linnets and into pole position this evening with victory away to struggling AFC Blackpool.

Cunningham said: “We didn’t want to lose our unbeaten run in the style that what we did. While we didn’t play great, we didn’t play that badly, but obviously they capitalised on us having eight men.

“It was a shame but if anyone had said at the start we’d go ten games unbeaten, and have a couple of FA Cup wins, we’d have snapped their hands off.

“We’re really proud of the start to the season we’ve made, and if we can win at Blackpool we’ll be sitting back top of the league.

“We’ll chalk Saturday off as a bad day at the office, we move on now, and try and hit back at Blackpool.”

Of the five sending offs against Lairds, Cunningham said: “My assistant went at half time, Marc Young went ten minutes into the second half for two bookings, I’ve gone, and then my captain Simon Nangle and right-back Ben Hoskin went in the same incident which we won a free kick for. It was an absolute horror show.

“People will have seen that we got beat, but they don’t know the true circumstance behind it. We were playing with eight men for the last 15 minutes and they scored three.”

Alex Coleman and Michael Morrison return for the Reds tonight.