Colne earned a vital point in a fiercely contested end-to-end game against Bootle at Holt House on Saturday. The Reds came back from a goal behind to snatch a draw with a late goal in an exciting finish.
Colne made a bright start and created a series of chances in the opening stages when Glenn Steel and Brad Knox both had shots blocked in the visitors’ penalty area and Enock Lusiama fired a 25 yard shot just wide of the Bootle goal.
But after 17 minutes, the Bucks pushed forward with a good attack and forced a corner at the other end. And from the resulting cross, Jack McGowan knocked the ball home at the far post in a crowded goalmouth to give his side the lead.
Bootle looked to increase their lead and Nivaldo Rodrigues threatened the Colne defence with some dangerous runs before Ben Hodkinson saw his shot saved by Andre Mendes in the Colne goal from a good opportunity.
With half time approaching, it was Colne who looked likely to score as they put pressure on the Bootle goal and Lusiama came close when he got round the keeper and saw his goal-bound shot cleared off the line by a defender.
The second half began with some end-to-end play and on 55 minutes Charlie Holland released Hodkinson for a clear run on goal but Mendes did well to force him wide and his final shot was over the crossbar of the Reds goal.
At the other end, Colne began to build some promising attacks down the left wing prompted by Paul Dugdale releasing Luke Stowe to provide inviting crosses into the visitors’ penalty area. As the Reds increased the pressure, Bucks defender Ben Roberts was sent off for his second yellow card reducing Bootle to ten men on the hour.
Five minutes later, Craig Carney’s cross flashed across the Bucks goalmouth just eluding Tom McCann at the far post. A good run at the other end by Hodkinson was cut out by the Colne defence with a last ditch tackle in the penalty area.
But Colne pushed forward looking for an equaliser and with ten minutes left they made the breakthrough when Stowe’s cross from the left wing found Carney 20 yards out and his dipping shot left the keeper stranded on its way into the net to level the scores at 1-1.
The Reds looked for a winning goal and a half cleared corner fell to Lucas Weaver but his well struck shot was blocked in the Bootle penalty area. While at the other end, a Bootle corner in injury time set Colne’s nerves jangling but Mendes claimed the ball to snuff out the danger.