Colne Pre-season continues at Ashton Utd
Report by Ed Lambert
Steve Cunningham's pre-season schedule took the Reds to NPL Premier division side Ashton Utd on Saturday, where they acquitted themselves very well.
Both teams took time to settle into the game and the early play was mostly in midfield with neither keeper tested. The first opportunity fell to Colne when Danny Wilkins received the ball to the left of the penalty area but saw his shot blocked. On 17 minutes, a free kick from Lee Pugh deceived the home defence and saw Adam Morning react first only to see his shot smash against the bar and away to safety.
Colne took the lead on 19 minutes when a left wing corner was directed into the 6 yard box. It narrowly evaded Michael Fish but goal poacher Mark Ayres knocked the ball high into the net.
Ashton came straight back and a mazy run by Matthew Chadwick took him past 2 defenders but he struck his shot just wide. Five minutes later and Colne had their trialist keeper to thank as after a quick break he blocked a goal bound shot and saw the rebound hit wide. Colne still had plenty of possession and were stretching the Ashton defence with their attacking wing backs Azam and Gregory used to good effect. Ashton had the better of the chances tho and Matthew Chadwick saw another effort go narrowly wide.
HALF TIME ASHTON UTD 0 COLNE 1
Colne almost extended their lead after 47 minutes when Danny Wilkins got to the byline but saw his cross flash across the area without a Colne team mate able to get a meaningful touch. On 50 minutes, Ashton almost equalised when a free kick right was floated into the area and headed towards the back post where an Ashton attacker headed it back into the danger area and Da Silva headed against the bar. On 55 minutes, Colne won a corner that was played to the edge of the area where Si Nangle dinked it to the back post and Mark Ayres floated header was parried by the goal keeper and re cycled by Morning but his effort flashed across the area.
Ashton equalised on 57 minutes when from a free kick on the edge of the area Josh Stachini floated the ball over the wall and into the goal. Four minutes later, and from a similar position, the Colne triallist keeper, at full stretch, turned Josh Pritchard's effort round the post.
Substitute Stevie Cassidy used his blistering pace to create an opportunity for Wilkins but his shot flashed wide. Wilkins also acted as provider and after a mazy run he played the ball wide to Jacob Gregory whose cross into the area was hastily cleared by the Ashton centre back.
For the remainder of the game Colne were mainly on the defensive but without any real danger to their goal.
FULL TIME ASHTON UTD 1 COLNE 1
Next up in the pre-season schedule is a home game on Mon 24th v Salford City XI, followed by an away fixture at Squires Gate which is a 1pm kick off( so set your alarms early!)