Colne got back to winning ways on Saturday with a hard earned three points against Droylsden at the Sovereign Play Stadium. A single goal by Connor Hughes just after the interval was enough to clinch the win although it was down to an all round team performance as the visitors provided a stiff test.
Colne started brightly with some good attacking play and Hughes and Brad Knox had shots blocked in the Droylsden penalty area in the opening minutes. But Droylsden also had attacking ideas and a good run by Rhys Clooney provided an opening for Jamie Frost before his shot was blocked by the Colne defence in their penalty area.
After 18 minutes, Brad Lynch, back in the Colne side after a spell at Mossley, went down under a challenge in the Droylsden penalty area but the referee waved aside his appeals for a penalty. And as Lee Pugh crossed the loose ball into the goalmouth, Bloods keeper Chris Thompson was at full stretch to hold the ball under his crossbar.
After 25 minutes, it was Droylsden who came close to opening the scoring when Frost hit a goal-bound shot from the edge of the penalty area which brought a great save from Hakan Burton to push the ball round the post of the Colne goal.
As play swung to the other end, Aidan Chippendale released Will Harris on the right wing and he cut into the penalty area and slipped the ball past Thompson only to see it fly inches past the far post. The end-to-end play continued with Alex Coleman and Pugh making vital clearances from the Colne area while, at the other end, Lynch and Tony Donaldson continued to open up the visitors defence with darting runs.
But five minutes before half time, Burton made another great save to prevent Droylsden taking the lead when Domaine Rouse got past the Reds defence and unleashed a left foot shot from close range. As the second half began, Colne pressed forward on the left wing and as the ball was laid back to Hughes in the area, he beat Thompson with a shot into the net at the near post to give the Reds the lead.
Droylsden looked for a quick reply with some high crosses into the Colne goalmouth but Burton showed great handling to pluck the ball out of the air on several occasions. After 55 minutes, a cross reached the head of Jack Kay in the Colne goalmouth but his downward header was well cleared by Marcus Poscha as the Colne defence held firm. After 74 minutes, Droylsden came close when Rouse headed a cross just over the Colne bar from less than six yards out from a glorious opportunity.
But as play swung to the other end, a cross by Pugh was headed down in the Droylsden penalty area for Lynch and his goal-bound volley brought a great save from Thompson to knock the ball clear. In the closing stages, Matty Makinson made a vital clearance from Danny Wilkins’ inviting cross in the Colne goalmouth but as the game went into injury time, Colne almost doubled their lead when Harris broke clear on the right and his shot past Thompson came back off the far post to deny him a goal.
It was a close fought contest but Colne ran out worthy winners and will look to continue this form as they go into the festive period.
Colne Team: 1 Hakan Burton 2 Alex Coleman (C) 3 Lee Pugh 4 Brad Knox 5 Marcus Poscha 6 Matty Makinson 7 Tony Donaldson 8 Connor Hughes 9 Will Harris 10 Brad Lynch 11 Aidan Chippendale 12 Joe Coveney 14 Billy Hasler-Cregg 15 Waqas Azam