A CROWD of 255 - the biggest of the say in the North West Counties League - saw league leaders Colne held to a 0-0 draw by derby rivals Padiham at the XLCR Stadium.

However, the Storks could have come away with all three points had Curtis Hayley converted his guilt edge chance with just four minutes remaining.


In what was a strangely subdued first half for an East Lancashire derby, the game sprung in to life after the break with both sides creating goal-scoring chances.

First, Padiham’s Dominic Slaven forced Colne keeper Chris Thompson in to an excellent save in the 53rd minute and the same player fired inches wide on the hour mark.

At the other end, Jason Hart - one of several Colne players who had played for Padiham - went closest for the home side when he cracked an effort against the wood work before Sean Davis was forced in to a good save.

With time ticking away, Padiham finished strongly and Chris Turner fired a free kick wide and Alex Murphy headed over.

But it was Hayley who could have won it at the death but fired over from just five yards with the goal at his mercy.

Despite dropping two points, Colne extended their lead at the top of the table to six points after second placed Runcorn Linnets lost 2-1 at AFC Liverpool.

Barnoldswick Town’s hopes of climbing in to the top three suffered a blow when they were beaten 2-1 at fellow high-fliers 1874 Northwich.

Michael Brandon gave the home side a 14th minute lead which was doubled on the hour mark by Matthew Beadle.

Thomas Henderson pulled one back with two minutes remaining but Barlick could not find an equaliser as they slipped to their fifth defeat of the season.

AFC Darwen, who were promoted last season, are still finding the going tough in the Premier Division after they lost 5-3 at fellow strugglers Maine Road - a ninth defeat in 17 outings for the Anchor Ground outfit this season.

Darwen led at half time, thanks to Chris Mason’s 35th minute goal.

But an own goal in the 56th minute saw Maine Road draw level and they took the lead for the first time when Connor Hughes found the target in the 65th minute.

Maine Road then scored three goals in 10 minutes - two from Hughes to complete his hat-trick and another from Matthew Wilson - to take the game away from Darwen.

But the visitors refused to surrender and Mason scored a second in the 89th minute and Nick Hepple scored in injury time but it was too little, too late for the Salmoners.

Bacup Borough crashed out of the Reusch First Division Cup after losing 2-0 at Chadderton thanks to first half goals from James Curley and Gareth Morris.

On Friday night, Nelson missed the chance to climb in to the top six after a disappointing 1-0 defeat at struggling Silsden.