Marine A.F.C. 3-3 Colne F.C.
Colne earned a valuable point at high fliers Marine on Saturday in a six goal thriller. The Reds held the lead twice but had to settle for a share of the spoils when Marine grabbed an equaliser in the sixth minute of added time at the end of the game.
Colne made a confident start to the game matching their opponents in midfield and looking for gaps in the home defence with Lee Pugh pushing forward on the left wing. After ten minutes, the Reds forced a corner on the left and Billy Hasler-Cregg’s cross to the far post was headed just over the bar by Eli Hey. And in Colne’s next attack, Connor Hughes saw his shot blocked in the area and as the loose ball fell to Hey, his shot was deflected just wide off a defender in the goalmouth.
But after 14 minutes, Marine striker Niall Cummins chased a long through ball towards the Colne penalty area and Reds keeper Hakan Burton raced from his goal to clear the danger. As Marine threatened again, the Colne defence was tested with Matty Makinson and Andy Hollins heading high balls away from their goalmouth.
The Reds pushed forward at every opportunity and Hasler-Cregg’s high cross was headed wide by Pugh before the same two players linked together to provide a good chance for Hey only to see his shot on the turn flash across the face of goal.
On the half hour, Colne made the breakthrough when Hollins’ cross from the right was fired home at the near post by Aidan Chippendale to give the Reds the lead. Colne looked for a second goal as Hughes free kick into the area was scrambled clear by the home defence.
But as play switched to the other end, the Reds had a let-off when a free kick into their area found Cummins unmarked at the far post but he sliced his shot well wide of goal. And in Marine’s next attack, Alex Coleman did well to win the ball off George Hassall as he burst through with a run on goal.
As the second half began, Josh Solomon-Davies cut in from the right wing and saw his shot cleared from the Colne goalmouth by Coleman. But Colne were soon on the attack again and Chippendale saw his cross hacked away for a corner before Makinson headed the resulting cross over the bar of the Marine goal.
After 53 minutes, a Colne corner was half cleared and laid back to Tony Donaldson whose diagonal ball found Makinson in the area and he fired an unstoppable shot on the half volley into the top corner of goal to double Colne’s lead.
After 64 minutes, Donaldson saw his shot blocked in the Marine penalty area but was injured and replaced by Waqas Azam. Four minutes later, Marine pulled a goal back when a corner kick fell to Mark Howarth who fired home a low shot through a crowded Colne area.
As Marine were lifted by the goal, they pushed forward with more attacks and after 77 minutes levelled the scores at 2-2 when a free kick was played low to Hassall for a quick shot into the bottom corner of the Reds net.
Rio Wilson-Heyes made his debut for Colne from the subs bench and quickly livened up the Reds attack linking well with Azam. And after 88 minutes, a through ball by Hughes sent Azam racing away between two defenders to beat the advancing keeper with a shot into the roof of the Marine net to give Colne a 3-2 lead.
Marine threw everything forward in the closing minutes and launched a series of high balls into the Colne area which Burton plucked from the air. But in the sixth minute of added time, Hassall hit a dipping shot from outside the area that flew into the top corner of goal for a late, late equaliser for the home side.
A great performance by the Reds in a game that kept the crowd of 458 entertained from start to finish.
Alex Coleman (C)