Colne took the first step on the FA Trophy trail with a close fought win against Marske United at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday. Heavy overnight rain forced a 10.30 pitch inspection but the game went ahead under blue skies as the weather improved.
In the opening exchanges, Marske’s Callum Martin made a bad tackle on Joe Coveney on the half way line and the referee had no hesitation in producing a red card and reducing the visitors to ten men after only three minutes.
The Reds pressed forward and after 11 minutes, Andy Hollins headed just wide from Aidan Chippendale’s diagonal free kick while at the other end, good runs by Louis Johnson and Jack Blackford tested the Colne defence.
After 16 minutes, the Reds came close when Connor Hughes’ cross was headed just wide of his own goal by a defender and from the resulting corner Marcus Poscha’s close range shot was cleared off the goal-line. Ten minutes later, Colne made the breakthrough when Chippendale’s long cross from the left wing fell to Will Harris who took the ball on before finishing with a well struck diagonal shot into the bottom corner of the net.
On the half hour, Colne keeper Hakan Burton was called into action to push Lewis Maloney’s 35 yard free kick over his crossbar as Marske looked for an equaliser. Three minutes later, Sefton Gonzales’ low cross just eluded Hughes in the Marske goalmouth as Colne pressed forward and the Reds created a series of half chances in the run up to half time.
Eight minutes into the second half, Colne doubled their lead when Chippendale and Gonzales stretched the visitors with crosses into the penalty area and the ball fell to Matty Makinson who forced his way to the bye line before laying the ball back for Hughes to chip home past a despairing Marske defence.
As Colne stepped up the pace, Chippendale’s low cross just eluded Harris with the goal yawning in front of him and Chippendale flashed a free kick just past the post from 25 yards. At the other end, Burton made a great point blank save to keep out Liam O’Sullivan’s close range shot after Johnson’s penetrating run.
But Colne looked for a third goal and Marske keeper Jack Norton kept out Hughes’ header with a great save after 65 minutes before riding his luck five minutes later when Hughes 20 yard free kick clipped the outside of his post.
After 77 minutes, a Marske attack on the left wing had the Colne defence back pedalling and a low cross into the goalmouth was half cleared before Andrew Stephenson followed up to fire home from close range and reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Colne pressed forward looking to restore their two goal cushion and Chippendale and Gonzales both came close with good efforts before Lee Pugh had penalty claims waved aside after being brought down on a run into the penalty area. But the Reds had done enough to secure their place in the next round with a well deserved win and will look forward to meeting Ramsbottom United at the Riverside on Saturday 12th October.
Colne Team -