COLNE saw off the challenge of bottom of the table Pickering Town with a 2-0 victory in a vital six-pointer at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.

Steve Cunningham's Reds, now 16th, took an early lead courtesy of an own goal but had to wait for a very late second in the dying minutes to make the game safe in this BetVictor North West Division clash.

Colne took the lead after nine minutes when Billy Hasler-Cregg’s cross from the right was headed into his own net by Matty Turnbull.

Pickering looked for a quick reply but Danny Earl’s header was saved by Hakan Burton.

After 24 minutes, Pickering keeper Harrison Foulkes made a diving save to push away Connor Hughes’ shot and he was in action again just after the half hour to deny Eli Hey.

Turnbull came close to adding to his tally of own goals when he sliced a clearance but fortunately for him Foulkes gathered.

At the start of the second half, Mamadou Djabi had a great chance to double Colne’s lead but he shot wide with a clear sight of goal.

And after 57 minutes, Tony Donaldson saw his goal-bound shot deflected just wide of the Pickering goal.

Hughes’ close range shot was then saved by Foulkes in a crowded penalty area.

Colne kept coming, Hey laying the ball back for Chantler in the Pickering goalmouth but he blazed his shot over the bar from close range.

And in an action replay five minutes later, Rio Wilson-Heyes lifted his shot over the goal from six yards out.

With two minutes left, Colne at last got the second goal they needed to make the points safe when they won a corner on the left and Hasler-Cregg’s inswinger flew over the heads in a crowded goalmouth to finish in the net at the far post.

Elsewhere, Clitheroe, seventh, went down 2-1 at home to Pontefract Collieries, Mitchell George opening the scoring for Phil Brown's side before the visitors turned it around to cement their place in the play-offs.