Colne 1-1 AFC Blackpool

editorial image

Colne left it late to grab a share of the points with a spectacular Kieran Demaine equaliser in injury time against AFC Blackpool at the XLCR Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Reds had found it hard going against a tough physical Blackpool side, who looked to be on course for a win after taking a first half lead.

Colne made a confident start with Mark Coyne seeing his shot blocked and Ashley Carter flashing a header across the face of goal. But the Reds were caught out after 17 minutes when Marc Beattie outpaced the home defence and his speculative cross-shot dropped inside the far post leaving keeper Chris Thompson helpless.

The goal lifted the visitors and five minutes later Thompson did well to push an overhead kick by Beattie over his bar.

Within minutes Joe Garvin cleared Adam Freeland’s header off the line.

At the other end, Danny Boyle set up Coyne and his angled shot came back off the bar. A series of corners by Colne were fisted away from under the bar by keeper Kieran O’Boyle as the Reds enjoyed a period of pressure.

And Garvin’s diagonal free kick flew just wide of the far post when it only needed a touch.

Colne increased the pressure in the second half and when Andy Tinker was brought down inches outside the penalty area, Boyle’s free kick flew just wide, before Luke McVarish blasted a 20-yard shot just wide. After 75 minutes, the pressure told when Dominic Craig burst into the area and chasing defender Paul Carroll brought him down to give the Reds a penalty. But Boyle stepped up to blast the spot kick over the bar.

The Reds continued to search for an equaliser with Craig again finding room in the area, and his low cross was hacked away by Grant Dell at the far post with Coyne poised to score. Garvin’s corners still provided chances and Mark Threlfall headed just wide of the near post.

It seemed that time would run out for Colne, but three minutes into injury time Carter laid on the pass for Demaine to detonate a pile driver from 25 yards that flew into the top corner for a deserved equaliser.

On Saturday, Colne lost 1-0 at top of the table Runcorn Town to a first half penalty, but should have had some reward after a battling second half display.

The first half belonged to Runcorn, and after the Reds’ defence had made a series of clearances, they conceded a penalty on 24 minutes when James McShane broke into the area and stumbled and fell over the outstretched hands of Thompson, and Warren Bellew converted the spot kick.

Minutes later, Thompson was called upon to block Gareth Grant’s shot, and as the home side continued to press, Bellew saw his glancing header sail just wide.

At the other end, Carter beat three defenders on a good run but his low cross was knocked behind by the Runcorn defence.

Nigel Coates’ team talk fired up the Reds for a second half comeback but first they had to survive a couple of scares as Thompson made great saves from Bellew and Paul Shanley.

But the Reds began to take control and build some promising attacks with Boyle buzzing around upfront and supplying some good crosses. Threlfall’s near post header on the hour flashed across the goal and just wide.

The introduction of all three substitutes again lifted Colne with Luke McVarish doing well in midfield and Neil Stansfield denied a penalty when he looked to be tripped in the box on 65 minutes. And Ben Bridson’s shot flew over after a good build-up by Sam Hayes and Carter.

But Stansfield missed a great chance to equalise when Threlfall’s curling cross reached him at the far post but caught him wrong-footed.

And Bridson was denied by a great saving tackle from Danny Dalton.

McVarish almost broke the deadlock on 75 minutes with a fierce low shot from outside the area, but Karl Wills got down well to save. Wills again denied Colne on 87 minutes with a spectacular stop from Garvin’s free kick.

Tomorrow Colne are at home to Stone Dominoes at the XLCR Stadium (kick-off 3 p.m.) and again on Tuesday against Winsford United (kick-off 7-45 p.m.).

DAVE PRIESTLEY