Dunston UTS F.C. 0 - 1 Colne F.C.
Colne got off to a great start in their league campaign with a hard fought win at Dunston on Saturday. The Reds made the long trip to the North East and were rewarded with three points, thanks to a first half penalty by midfielder Charlie Russell.
Both sides showed attacking ideas in an even first half and Dunston tested the Reds defence with searching crosses to the far post at every opportunity, but Colne keeper, Hakan Burton, plucked the ball out of the air with a series of agile saves to deny the home side any clear chances.
At the other end, Billy Hasler-Cregg made good runs on the left wing and provided inviting crosses into the home area where Mamadou Djabi looked to take advantage. After 12 minutes, Djabi was brought down just outside the penalty area, but Sam O’Halloran’s free kick flew just over the crossbar.
Six minutes later, as Colne pressed again, Jamie Cooke’s through ball released Djabi into the penalty area and he was brought down by a tackle from behind by a desperate defender. Russell fired home the resulting spot kick to give the Reds the lead, despite the efforts of Dunston keeper Liam Connell.
After 23 minutes, Colne had a great chance to increase their lead when Cooke’s corner found Ben Unsworth in front of goal, but he headed wide from a good position. Five minutes later Colne had the Dunston defence in disarray as Djabi drew the keeper out wide of his goal, but the resulting cross was scrambled clear from the penalty area with the unattended net an inviting target.
At the other end Dunston briefly threatened with some inviting free kicks into the Colne area, but the Reds defence coped well with the danger.
As the second half began, Dunston pushed forward and Tom Dean and Harry Winstanley made some great clearances, heading high crosses away from the Colne goalmouth as the home side launched a series of aerial attacks.
Colne threatened sporadically as Cooke prompted some promising attacks, but were vulnerable to quick breaks by the opposition. However, Waqas Azam opened up the home defence on the right wing with some enterprising runs and Hasler-Cregg created space on the left. After 72 minutes Connell raced from his area to hack the ball clear to deny O’Halloran as he broke clear on a long through ball.
Dunston stepped up the pressure in the closing stages with a series of threatening attacks and some heroic last ditch clearances by the Reds defence denied them on several occasions, as Colne dug in with some resolute defending. Burton produced more good saves to hold on to the ball in his goalmouth to snuff out the danger as the Reds ran out worthy winners.
An excellent team display by the Reds and a solid performance to build on for the coming season.
Colne travel to Ossett United on Saturday 3pm kick off before they are at home to Workington on Tuesday evening, 7.45pm kickoff.
Colne F.C. Line Up