Maine Road 3, Colne 0
A good second half performance by Colne failed to bring them any reward against second placed Maine Road in an end-to-end game at Brantingham Road last Saturday.
In the opening 15 minutes, Maine Road looked dangerous and tested the Colne defence.
Mickey Woodvine’s vital tackle on Neil Chappell inside the area denied the Maine Road captain a goal after 10 minutes, and Marc Young and Adam Stockdale made good clearances from searching crosses.
Colne settled and began to create chances, and Nathan Bond’s cross gave Jason Hart the chance of a header at goal before Ted Cockett’s cross found Mark Coyne’s head, only for the keeper to block his effort.
But the Reds were caught by a counterattack after 21 minutes when a Colne corner was cleared and Maine Road broke quickly for Matthew Beadle to give them the lead from close range after Chris Thompson had parried John Mason’s shot.
Five minutes later, Paul Connor doubled the lead when he controlled well before slotting home.
Colne produced some good moves, with new signing Tom Berwick showing skillful touches and linking well with Jimmy Crorken in midfield.
The Reds might have pulled a goal back before half-time as Hart broke down the left and laid the ball across the box, but Simon Nangle’s shot was saved by Greg Hall. And Hall recovered well after punching away a high cross to hold on to Cockett’s follow up shot.
On the stroke of half-time, Hall managed to block close range shots from Bond and Hart in quick succession.
A change of tactics brought more attacking intent from Colne in the second half. On the hour, Crorken’s inswinging corner was cleared off the line at the far post, and within a minute, Hart burst through but saw his shot blocked by the keeper.
Colne’s attacks continued, prompted by Kieran Demaine, and the introduction of Lee Barrett further increased the attacking options, but keeper Hall still proved unbeatable.
In the closing minutes, Hart again raced clear but Hall blocked his shot and managed to grab the loose ball. He then produced a spectacular save from Berwick’s 35-yard pile driver.
In the final minute, Hall’s long ball gave Tom Bentham the chance to round off the scoring with a third goal for the home side, which left the Reds with a strong sense of injustice.
Tomorrow, Colne are at home to Stockport Sports with a 3 p.m. kick-off.
There is a reunion for Nelson Grammar School Old Boys and Hibson Spartans tomorrow at the Colne game, meeting in the Vice President’s Lounge at 2 p.m. For more details, contact 436470.