Runcorn 1-1 Colne F.C.
Colne had to settle for a draw after a pleasing performance at Runcorn Linnets on Saturday. The Reds looked the better side for long periods of the game and took the lead midway through the second half, only to concede an equaliser later in the game.
Colne made a good start to the game with Waqas Azam building promising attacks on the right wing. And the Reds almost took the lead after nine minutes when Connor Hughes’ through ball released Reece Webb-Foster into the home penalty area but his shot brought a flying save from the keeper to push the ball wide before it was scrambled clear at the far post.
Three minutes later however, Linnets came close when a high cross into the Colne goalmouth found Ryan Gibson at the far post and his header came back off the woodwork before being cleared by the Reds defence.
Colne continued to push forward and created a series of half chances with some good moves in the final third of the pitch. And Linnets keeper Craig Ellison needed to be alert as the Reds midfield kept up the supply of good crosses into the danger area with Lewis Bradley buzzing around the penalty area causing problems for the home defence
At the other end, Linnets had sporadic attacks but after 40 minutes Alistair Brown broke clear on a counterattack and Hakan Burton made a great save to block the ball at his feet and clear the danger in a one-on-one.
A minute later, at the other end, the Reds had a 25 yard free kick in a great position but it was blocked by the defensive wall and Azam’s inviting cross from the rebound was cleared by the home defence.
The second half began with some end-to-end play and on the hour Colne created a good chance with a great build-up but Dave Sherlock lifted his shot over the bar from the edge of the area. As the Reds kept up their attacks, Hughes forced a great save from Ellison to push the ball wide at the expense of a corner. And as Colne forced further corners, the pressure paid off when a cross was half cleared to the edge of the area and Hughes fired the ball home through a crowd of defenders to give Colne the lead.
Colne continued to attack looking for a second goal but Webb-Foster’s promising run was halted by a last ditch tackle by the Linnets last defender and good crosses into the penalty area by Brad Knox and Harrison Hopper were scrambled away by the Linnets defence.
After 78 minutes, Linnets struck back when a long ball down the right wing was kept in play and crossed low and hard from the bye line into the Reds goalmouth where Ben Wharton forced it home in a goalmouth scramble to level the scores at 1-1.
Both sides looked for a winner with some end to end play in the closing stages but defences held firm. Colne will feel that they deserved more than a point, having had victory within their grasp but will nevertheless be pleased with their performance on the day.