Colne earned another valuable point with a hard fought draw at Hanley Town on Bank Holiday Monday. The Reds came within a whisker of taking all three points but were pegged back by a dramatic equaliser five minutes into injury time at the end of the game.
On their first ever visit to Potteries Park, Colne might easily have got off to a dream start in the first minute of the game when Harry Winstanley’s long high ball released Lucas Weaver for a run on goal but a chasing defender made a saving tackle to rob him of the ball inside the home penalty area when he looked a sure scorer.
As Colne built some good attacks in the opening period, they tested the Hanley defence and after 16 minutes Paul Dugdale and Craig Carney combined to release Owen Watkinson into the penalty area to the left of goal and his goal-bound shot was blocked by Hanley keeper Kieran Harrison’s legs with an instinctive save in the goalmouth.
But as play switched to the other end, Jacob Twyford opened up the Reds defence with a great run and Louis Dodds’ low shot was cleared from the goalmouth by Tom Hoyle before the follow-up was turned over the bar in a good save by Colne’s new keeper Tom Donaghy.
Hanley began to look more dangerous with some well built attacks putting the Colne defence under pressure. And after 27 minutes, the Reds were unable to clear the ball from their penalty area and Twyford found the bottom corner of the Colne net with a shot in a crowded goalmouth to give Hanley the lead.
Colne looked for a reply and came close on the stroke of half time when Weaver’s shot across the face of goal was met by Dugdale coming in beyond the far post and his goal-bound shot was blocked on the line by a defender before being cleared.
As the second half began, Hanley were reduced to ten men when Joel Stair received a red card from the referee.
Colne had claims for a penalty waved aside after a Hanley defender appeared to handle the ball in the home penalty area following a corner. And Carney blasted a shot over the bar from a half clearance with the home side under pressure.
Dangerous breakaways by the home side were capably dealt with by Glenn Steel and Ellis Wallbank. Enock Lusiama had joined the game from the bench at half time and his influence on the game began to tell. After 72 minutes, he tried a speculative 25 yard shot which squirmed through the keeper’s grasp and into the bottom corner of the net for an equaliser for the Reds.
Hanley came back strongly and came close with a series of strong attacks led by Kieran Brown including claims for a penalty which the referee waved aside.
But Colne were looking for a winner at the other end, and Sheikh Islam’s 35 yard shot brought a flying save by Harrison to keep the ball out of the home net after 84 minutes. And from the resulting corner, Watkinson knocked the ball home at the near post in a crowd of defenders to give the Reds the lead.
Colne appeared to have the points safely in the bag as they played out the game with some excellent possession football which had the opposition chasing shadows. But five minutes into added time Hanley won a corner and from the cross a goal-bound header was cleared off the line before the follow-up was fired home by Charlie Walford in a crowded goalmouth to give his side a share of the points.