Colne stepped up a gear to see off the challenge of higher league opponents Hyde United in their friendly at Holt House on Friday evening. A single goal on the hour by Charlie Russell capped an all round team performance for a well deserved win.
Colne pushed forward in the opening stages showing plenty of attacking ideas and came close to opening the scoring after only seven minutes when Billy Hasler-Cregg found Anthony Williams in space in the visitors area, but his initial shot was parried by the keeper and then the follow-up was blocked by a defender in the goalmouth.
The Reds continued to press but were given a stark warning after 18 minutes when a swift counterattack by the visitors forced Colne keeper Hakan Burton to save a fiercely struck goal-bound shot at the other end.
Hyde came more into the game with a series of corners testing the Colne defence which coped well under pressure. As the game swung back in the Reds favour with half time approaching, Colne regained control and came close when Ryan Taylor’s free kick was headed down on the edge of the area and Harry Winstanley’s diagonal shot flew inches past the far post.
As the second half began Colne built some promising attacks but were given another warning after 54 minutes when a quick counterattack forced Burton to race from his area to clear the danger as the Hyde strikers burst through on goal. Two minutes later a shot whistled just wide of the Reds goal from another Hyde attack.
But a great move by Russell on the hour swung the game in Colne’s favour, as he took the ball from the halfway line in a diagonal run to the edge of the area where he fired an unstoppable left foot shot on the turn into the bottom corner of the Hyde net to give the Reds the lead.
Colne looked to increase their lead, but the Hyde defence held firm and the visitors still threatened with some dangerous attacks of their own with Burton needing to push a high cross away from the top corner of his goal in a dangerous situation. But as the visitors pushed forward in the closing stages looking for an equaliser with ex-Red Tony Donaldson a driving force, the Colne defence was outstanding with Aaron Turner and Tom Dean making a series of vital clearances.
A satisfying team performance by the Reds against opponents who gave them a realistic test on the night.
On Saturday Colne welcome Barnoldswick Town to Holt House with a 3pm kick off for their next friendly.