A hat-trick by Jakob Hebda was not enough for Colne in a 4-3 defeat to Prestwich Heys in an exciting and entertaining game at the NORI Stadium on Saturday, writes Rick Barrett.

Both teams were looking for a response after defeats in their previous matches and Heys brought back centre halves Regan Brown and Nathan Bartram-Conway along with striker Rio Clegg returning from suspension.

Prestwich were first to show with a free kick from Connor Berry deflected out for a corner in the first minute and Matt Davies shortly after firing at the keeper from six yards.

It was Colne breaking the deadlock though on fourteen minutes after catching Heys on the break. A ball on the right was crossed over, finding Hebda six yards out, who fired past Heys keeper Jordan Hadlow.

The visitors responded well though and a lovely move involving Pa Jenkins and Davies who found Berry, but he drove his shot wide of the far post.

Heys were not behind for long and on twenty-three minutes they were level when an in-swinging corner from Berry found the head of full back Jacob Ngoy, to score from three yards out, past Colne keeper Craig Ellison.

This game had started at a frantic pace, and it was Heys with the upper hand and they missed a great chance to go in front on twenty-nine minutes when Rio Clegg was clean through on the left but fired wide from six yards.

The pressure told though on thirty-six minutes and what a goal it was, Berry beating the defender on the right and launching a terrific strike, top left, from twenty yards, keeper Ellison had no chance.

Back came Colne two minutes later with Hebda grabbing his second after a through ball on the right saw him beat Hadlow from six yards for 2-2 and this was now a pulsating game, end to end with a pace that showed no sign of easing up.

Colne had a big chance to take the lead, Lucas Weaver hitting the bar from eight yards, but it was Prestwich taking the lead just before the break with another wonder strike. This time it was Clegg firing in a free kick, smashing it into the top right from twenty yards for a 3-2 lead.

Everyone had to take a breath at the interval after this fantastic first half and although Heys were 3-2 up one sensed the game could still go either way with both teams impressive going forward.

Colne as expected rallied after the break, with a free kick going over the bar and on the hour Heys were lucky to survive a goal mouth scramble with the ball eventually being cleared but it was the visitors going further ahead on sixty three minutes and it was a free kick on the left from Clegg that went deep into the box. Keeper Ellison fumbled as he came out and it was captain for the day Greg Daniels nipping into steer home on the line for 4-2.

As the game went on the fast pace eased a little with the game going through the midfield more than the flanks though Colne had another free kick over the bar and Clegg fired over on seventy-three minutes after a great ball in by Davies.

Colne kept at it though and in a bizarre last five minutes hit the bar twice from close range before Hebda grabbed his hat-trick deep in injury time after Heys failed to clear the ball and his shot rose over Hadlow and into the net.

The hosts attempts to snatch a point were all in vain though as the referee blew ending a terrific afternoons play and a perfect advert for the North West Counties League. Heys it is though who march on with the three points in another great display of attacking football securing a place in the top five.

Heys return to action on Tuesday night when they host Longridge.

TEAM: Jordan Hadlow, Jacob Ngoy, Saidkhon Khamidov, Pa Jenkins, Nathan Bartram-Conway, Regan Brown, Connor Berry, Danny White, Greg Daniels (Capt.), Rio Clegg, Matt Davies Subs: Brad Sixsmith, Russell Saunders, Jack Coop (for Daniels 89mins), Ryley Smith (for Clegg 78 mins)