Dunston UTS F.C. 2-2 Colne F.C.
Colne’s trip to Dunston on Saturday earned them a vital point in a see-saw battle that saw them take the lead through a penalty early in the second half then fight back from a goal down to snatch a late equaliser in a dramatic finish.
In the opening stages of the game, it was Dunston who pushed forward to test the Reds defence which included keeper Ben Parkinson on loan from Nelson. And Parkinson soon showed his abilities with a fine save after 13 minutes when he turned a goal-bound shot by Scott Heslop against the bar. Four minutes later, Parkinson was in action again when he saved Heslop’s close range shot with his feet to prevent Dunston taking the lead.
Colne settled into the game and began to create chances with Lee Pugh driving forward in midfield and Lewis Bradley’s through ball gave Harrison Hopper a half chance but home keeper Karl Dryden reacted quickly to claim the ball at his feet. The Reds sporadic attacks created few chances but Marcus Poscha came close with a low shot just wide after a half clearance from the home penalty area on the half hour.
With half time approaching, the Reds had a couple of incredible let-offs. After 38 minutes, Luke Page broke clear in a one-on-one with Parkinson and saw his shot come back off the post. And four minutes later, Liam Marrs’ diagonal dipping shot hit the inside of the far post and rebounded across the goalmouth before being cleared by the Colne defence.
Having survived these near misses, Colne came out for the second half in a more determined mood and were awarded a penalty after only two minutes when Hopper was tripped in the home area and Connor Hughes made no mistake with a well taken spot kick to give his side the lead.
Dunston replied with a series of physical challenges and on the hour paid the price when Dan Capewell was sent off for a lunging tackle on Pugh reducing the home team to ten men.
Colne pushed forward looking to take advantage and Waqas Azam’s free kick was half cleared from the home goalmouth before Bradley’s close range shot was blocked by the Dunston defence. But as play swung to the other end, a high cross was headed down in the Reds penalty area and Liam Brooks saw his shot come back off the upright of the Colne goal before the ball was cleared for a corner. And from the resulting cross, Michael Hall headed home at the far post to level the scores at 1-1 after 65 minutes.
Colne looked to restore their lead with some good crosses into the home goalmouth by Azam but after 70 minutes, Dunston struck again when Mark Fitzpatrick gave his side the lead with a low shot into the far corner of the Reds net in a crowded penalty area.
Two minutes later, Colne had a great chance to level the scores when Bradley’s through ball released Eli Hey for a run on goal but his shot past the advancing keeper flew wide of the far post. The Reds continued to press forward and Hughes’ curling free kick was knocked home by Poscha at the far post but the goal was disallowed for an infringement.
After 84 minutes, another good attack by Colne saw Hey’s cross from the left reach Billy Hasler-Cregg in the penalty area who laid the ball back to Hughes for an unstoppable shot high into the net to level the scores at 2-2 to give the Reds a well deserved draw.