Colne scored a famous victory in their FA Cup replay at the Sovereign Play Stadium on Tuesday night when they overcame the challenge of Premier Division South Shields to see the Reds through to the Second Qualifying Round of the competition. A penalty save by Colne keeper Hakan Burton just three minutes after the half time interval kept the Reds on level terms and a goal on the hour by Waqas Azam gave them a hard fought win on the night.
South Shields started strongly with some good attacking moves and Nathan Lowe fired a shot just over the Colne crossbar after only three minutes. But Colne responded well with some promising counterattacks and Lee Pugh’s long throws caused problems for the visitors’ keeper Miles Boney under pressure in a crowded goalmouth.
On the half hour, Boney did well to block Sefton Gonzales’ close range shot at the expense of a corner and turned the resulting cross from Billy Hasler-Cregg over his crossbar with a fingertip save.
With the scoreline blank at half time, Colne had high hopes of a good second half. But South Shields emerged in a more determined mood and pressed forward with some strong attacking play. The Reds scrambled the ball away from their six yard box as Jason Gilchrist threatened to score but before the danger had been cleared, a late tackle just inside the area gave the visitors a penalty. Josh Gillies took the spot kick but Burton dived to his left to beat away his shot and deny Shields the lead.
Colne were lifted by the save and pressed forward with Tony Donaldson and Reece Webb-Foster instigating a series of attacks and Gonzales making his presence felt up front at every opportunity. After 62 minutes, Gonzales created an opening when he headed the ball across the visitors’ penalty area and though it eluded Connor Hughes, it fell for Azam to blast a piledriver of a shot into the net from 20 yards to give Colne the lead.
Colne pressed forward again with Hasler-Cregg making some dazzling runs on the left wing and a free kick by Azam curled to the far post saw Boney fisting the ball away under pressure from a rampant Colne attack.
But Shields came back strongly and Burton did well to hold on to a vicious shot by Millenic Alli and Alex Coleman and Andy Hollins made vital clearances to keep out a series of dangerous balls into the Reds goalmouth. Marcus Poscha was involved at both ends of the field in the end-to-end play in the closing stages as the Reds fought determinedly to hold on to a win they thoroughly deserved.
Colne will be at home to Ossett United in the next round on Saturday 21st September.