COLNE boss Steve Cunningham wants his side to go down in history as the greatest Reds team in recent memory ahead of a crunch North West Counties League Premier Division clash at Runcorn Linnets.

Cunningham’s side booked their place in the last eight of the Lancashire Challenge Trophy on Wednesday night with a 1-0 win over Holker Old Boys and remain well set for a promotion push in the league.


With the Reds still in the MEN United Cup there remains a possibility of a treble.

But Cunningham knows failure to take three points from their trip to Runcorn tomorrow, their first league match since October 20, will have a big bearing on their ambitions.

Both sides head into the clash locked together on 39 points, one point behind leaders 1874 Northwich.

But with Colne having five games in hand on the leaders and Linnets only three, Cunningham believes the pressure tomorrow is firmly on the hosts.

“It’s a massive game,” said Cunningham, who captained Linnets for two years during his playing career.

“We have got a bit of a rivalry with them because we have had some big games over the past couple of seasons.

“We have gone there and taken points off them when they have been favourites and they have given us a good hiding at our place.

“It is a bigger game for them on Saturday. They can’t afford to slip too many points behind us.

“It will be a real battle, we are taking 70 odd fans to the game and they are a well supported club.

“But if we can get the fans against them then we can get a result. I know what it’s like having played there and been on the receiving end of it.

“It is a great place to play when the fans are behind you but if they’re not then there is no worse place in football.

“We want to get a win to show that we are there to be reckoned with this year.

“If we don’t win then people will still question whether we can beat a big side and with the number of games we have to make up playing Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday later in the season could kill us.”

Cunningham, who will return to the dugout tomorrow after serving a three-game touchline ban, was pleased by his side’s performance in their midweek win over Holker which sets up a quarter-final tie at home to Bamber Bridge on Wednesday in the Challenge Trophy.

And the Reds boss, whose side had played just two games since the start of November prior to Wednesday night, insists the competition is a priority for Colne.

“We want to be the best team in this club’s history and the only way to do that is to win silverware,” said Cunningham of his side’s trophy ambitions.

“It was a great win on Tuesday in difficult conditions and it gives us a tie with Bamber Bridge and those are the games we want to be playing on a regular basis next season.

“Holker made it difficult for us and usually I would have rotated the squad a little bit but we were so desperate for a game that we went with a strong team.

“It was important that we got the game played and it was a good result for us.”

Colne will hope to join holders Chorley and Padiham in the last four although no date for the tie has yet been confirmed.

The remaining quarter-final also sees Lancaster City host Ashton Athletic on Tuesday.

Elsewhere tomorrow Nelson, down in 16th place, look to climb the table when they host struggling Silsden while AFC Darwen and Padiham, who occupy the two places directly below the Admirals, are on the road at 1874 Northwich and Ashton Athletic respectively.

Barnoldswick Town will look to bounce back from their West Riding County Cup exit at Harrogate Town in midweek when they travel to Maine Road.

A win for Barlick could see them climb into the top seven.

In the First Division, Bacup Borough are at home to Chadderton as they look to close in on the play-off places. Brent Peters’ side begin the weekend in ninth, four points off the top five.

In the Evo-Stik League Premier Division basement boys Ramsbottom entertain Colwyn Bay looking to make it three home wins on the bounce in all competitions.

First Division North side Clitheroe and National League North outfit Chorley are both without games this weekend.