Colne had to settle for a point in a goal-less draw against Marske United at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Saturday. In a game affected by the strong wind, both sides struggled to control the ball and conditions underfoot made flowing football difficult.
The visitors were up in the leading pack at the top end of the Division and started on the front foot looking for an early goal. Colne keeper Hakan Burton did well to block a close range shot by Craig Gott in the second minute of the game after a long throw reached him in the Reds goalmouth. Four minutes later, Marske had another scoring opportunity when Arran Wearmouth shot wide when a low cross found him at the far post.
Colne settled into the game with new loan signing Harrison Hopper in midfield and Waqas Azam and Rio Wilson-Heyes making good runs up the wings, but crosses by Lewis Bradley and Chris Chantler were cleared by the visitors defence. And after 15 minutes, a good through ball released Connor Hughes for a run on goal but a defender got back with a last ditch tackle just inside the area.
As play switched to the other end, a 25 yard free kick by Gott was blocked by Burton at his near post before being cleared from the Colne goalmouth. And as Marske continued to attack, a long throw found Matthew Garbutt on the edge of the Reds area but his shot flew wide from a clear chance.
Colne pushed forward at every opportunity and Lee Pugh’s curling cross flew inches over the bar with visitors keeper Jack Norton back-pedalling. After 22 minutes, Marcus Poscha released Matty Makinson for a run up the left wing and the Reds central defender cut inside and beat three defenders before seeing his goal bound shot pushed round the near post with a good save by Norton.
At the other end, Marske tested the Colne defence with some dangerous attacks as Curtis Round made penetrating runs and Louis Johnson shot wide from a good chance.
But with half time approaching, Pugh saw his well struck shot deflected up in the air and Norton punched clear from his goalmouth under pressure as Colne looked for an opening goal before the interval.
As the second half began, a good cross-field pass found Azam in space with a clear sight of goal but he was closed down by Marske defender Andrew May who blocked his shot to deny the Reds wingback a goal.
The strong running forwards of Marske put the Colne defence under pressure but some great tackles by Pugh halted their progress on several occasions. On the hour, Burton punched the ball away from his crowded goalmouth and recovered to save Callum Martin’s follow-up shot from the half clearance.
The end-to-end play continued with neither side able to break the deadlock but in the closing stages, Colne came close when Billy Hasler-Cregg saw his diagonal shot bounce agonisingly wide of the far post with the keeper beaten. However in the last minute of the game, Marske might have snatched all three points when Round’s cross reached Andrew Stephenson at the far post and his powerful header brought an instinctive save from Burton to beat the ball away before defenders hacked it clear and ensured that Colne held on for a well deserved draw.
Lee Pugh (C)