Colne Bounce Back for a Point
By Dave Priestley
Colne took a share of the points with a spirited second half performance as they came from two goals behind against Newcastle Town at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday.
The Reds might easily have snatched victory after Alex Curran’s two goals got them level but had to settle for a deserved draw in the end.
Colne looked comfortable in the opening stages with most of the possession and some good attacking moves. Curran and Lee Pugh both had shots blocked in the visitors’ penalty area and Billy Priestley posed an aerial threat from high crosses into the goalmouth as the visitors’ keeper Matthew Johnson was forced to punch the ball away under pressure.
But Newcastle looked quick on the break and after 14 minutes Chris Smith found the Colne net with a low shot from a tight angle to give his side a shock lead.
Colne looked for a quick reply and came close after 24 minutes when a curling free kick by Brad Knox was headed against the crossbar by Oliver Wood and the loose ball was eventually scrambled clear by a desperate visitors’ defence.
But again the Reds were caught on the break after 32 minutes when Matthew Ward had the Colne defence back-pedalling with a solo run through the middle and beat Hakan Burton with a low shot to double Newcastle’s lead.
Colne continued to press with a series of good crosses before half time without finding a finishing touch as the visitors defended well.
As the second half began, Curran’s low cross just eluded Josh Hine in front of goal but after 49 minutes, it was Curran who reduced the arrears for the Reds with a good run and finishing shot into the bottom corner of the net to change the complexion of the game at 2-1.
Newcastle still posed a threat with James Steele seeing his shot deflected wide and from the resulting corner, Luke Dennis heading wide of the Colne goal. But at the other end, Curran’s well struck shot forced a good save by Johnson and Knox’s powerful drive flew inches over the top corner of goal with the keeper beaten.
On the hour, Newcastle were reduced to ten men when Michael Conlon retaliated to a reckless challenge and received a red card. The free kick went Newcastle’s way but as Colne cleared the danger from their penalty area, play switched to the other end where Hine was brought down by the keeper with a desperate lunge and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Curran fired home the resulting penalty to draw Colne level at 2-2 after 66 minutes.
Colne pressed forward looking for a winning goal and Johnson produced another excellent save to push Curran’s shot over the bar with his fingertips. And a series of good saves by the keeper behind a resolute defence held the Reds at bay as they maintained the pressure till the final whistle.