Colne earned a valuable point from a hard fought game at Trafford on Saturday. The Reds put in a solid all round team performance but had keeper Hakan Burton to thank for a series of vital saves including a penalty.
In the opening minutes, Colne pushed forward and Marcus Poscha saw his far post header cleared from the Trafford goalmouth following a corner kick. But after six minutes, Trafford took advantage of hesitancy in the Colne defence and Lewis Salmon burst clear into the Reds penalty area only to be brought down by Burton as he raced from his goal. Salmon took the resulting spot kick but Burton dived to his right to keep out the shot and recovered in time to keep out the follow-up before the ball was cleared from the goalmouth with ex-Red Max Hazeldine seeing his shot blocked on the goal-line in a dramatic few seconds.
Colne again pushed forward and Billy Hasler-Cregg saw his goal-bound shot blocked in the home penalty area following a good run on the right wing. But Trafford always looked dangerous and after 25 minutes Burton again rescued the Reds when he saved Hazeldine’s close range shot with his outstretched foot to keep the scoresheet blank. And Trafford forced a series of free kicks and corners to test the Reds defence but Poscha and Alex Coleman made some outstanding clearances from the penalty area.
At the other end, Connor Hughes tested home keeper Matt Cooper with a diagonal shot and Cooper was again in action after 35 minutes saving Poscha’s shot on the goal-line after a searching cross by Chris Chantler. Five minutes later, Joe Coveney’s cross found Poscha at the far post but his header flew wide of the goal. And with half time approaching, Hasler-Cregg forced a great save from Cooper to turn his shot wide of the near post after a surging run into the penalty area from the right wing.
As the second half began, Burton was again in action to claim the ball at Salmon’s feet as a dipping cross reached him in the Colne penalty area. And on the hour, Colne survived another dramatic incident when Joel Amado’s cross found its way across the Colne area to an unmarked Hazeldine who looked a certain scorer but Burton blocked his shot and the ball came down off the underside of the bar and was cleared off the line by Coleman.
In the end-to-end play, Colne looked to create chances through Hasler-Cregg’s runs on the right wing but the Trafford defence held firm. With ten minutes left, Aidan Chippendale won a free kick on the left wing and Coveney’s diagonal ball into the home area fell to Poscha whose first time shot hit the keeper and was half cleared for Brad Lynch to blast the ball goalward only to see it deflected wide off a defender. And Lee Pugh saw his low cross turned just wide of the near post by the Trafford defence as the pressure continued.
But in the closing minutes of the game, Colne again had Burton to thank for two great saves as Curtis Miller and Kris Prifti threatened to snatch the points for Trafford with well struck goal-bound shots.
A battling performance by the Reds which showed they are well capable of climbing the table with a great team spirit.
Alex Coleman (C)