Colne progressed to the next round of the Isuzu FA Trophy with a hard fought narrow victory over Consett at Holt House on Saturday. The Reds had the benefit of an early goal but needed to put in a good defensive performance against strong opponents who pushed them all the way.
In the opening stages, it was Consett who did the attacking and good clearances by Glenn Steel and Colne keeper Andre Mendes were needed to prevent them taking the lead. But after 15 minutes, a good move at the other end by the Reds instigated by Tom Fagan sent Owen Watkinson into the visitors’ penalty area to the right of goal and he squeezed a low shot from a narrow angle into the far corner of the net to give Colne the lead.
Consett looked for a quick reply and Karl Byrne’s direct runs into the Colne penalty area created half chances which the Reds defence did well to clear. While at the other end, Watkinson forced a save from visitors’ keeper Mark Foden after a good run by Luke Stowe.
Matty Kardacz did well in the Colne defence to cut out some dangerous runs by Cyril Giraud as Consett threatened again. But at the other end Lucas Weaver opened up the visitors’ defence with a promising run and Tom McCann’s goal-bound shot was deflected wide off a defender in the penalty area.
Early in the second half, Colne pushed forward and Watkinson fired over the bar when the ball was half cleared to him on the edge of the visitors’ penalty area. And as Colne continued to attack, McCann’s through ball found Craig Carney in the area to the left of goal and his diagonal shot came back off the crossbar with the keeper stranded.
On the hour, a 25 yard shot by Brad Knox flew just over the visitors’ goal. But at the other end, Darren Holden’s run on the left wing forced a corner for the visitors and from the resulting cross Danny Capewell’s downward header brought a brilliant save by Mendes to hold the ball on the goal-line. Mendes continued to look commanding in his goalmouth taking high balls with confidence and making another save from a shot by Holden.
Colne looked for a second goal to make the game safe and Weaver’s free kick into the goalmouth was scrambled behind for a corner before the resulting cross fell to Knox and his chip forward was headed just over the bar by Carney. And in a subsequent attack, Jack Doherty found space on the right wing but Foden was quickly off his line to claim the ball at his feet as he cut inside to the penalty area.
In the closing stages, Consett threw bodies forward including their keeper for set pieces and Paul Dugdale made a vital clearance as Holden again provided dangerous crosses into the Colne box. With the final whistle imminent, Charlie Russell got back to clear the ball off the Colne goal-line as he blocked a shot by Ben Milburn.
The Reds got the result they deserved for some stubborn defending and a never-say-die attitude and will continue their cup run in a confident mood after this performance.
Man of the Match, Paul Dugdale is handed his award from Sponsors Coalition Facilities Management.