AFTER a closely contested local derby Padiham eventually emerged victorious as the top team in the North West Counties Premier Division.
Due to injuries and players being unavailable Colne had to give debuts to three new signings.
Bill Williams came in as a central defender, Krystian Evans joined Jason Hart as a striker and Daniel Bryan joined Colne’s midfield playing wide right.
Colne had the majority of the possession in the early stages. In the first few minutes Williams came forward for a corner and just failed to connect at the far post.
Then Kenny Taylor created Padiham’s first chance when he broke clear down the right but his cross into the box evaded everybody.
Hart’s pace was causing problems for Padiham but their defence stood strong and managed to block his efforts on goal. Ashley Carter was also creating problems with his darting runs and quick feet but his team-mates could not capitalise on his balls into the area.
For Padiham Mark Sharples and Kenny Taylor were causing threats down the flanks but the Colne defence remained strong and easily cleared the dangers.
At the half way stage honours were justifiably even and all was to play for in the second half.
Colne made a good start to the second half. Carter continued to cause Padiham problems and just minutes in he combined with Evans to create a chance for Hart who dragged his shot wide of the far post.
Minutes later Bryan latched onto a poor clearance but he too could only watch his shot fly wide.
The play continued to revert from end to end without any real threats to the goalkeepers.
But on 67 minutes came the moment which was to determine the result when Taylor appeared to stumble on the edge of the area as he tried to get the ball out of his feet and remarkably the referee first awarded a free kick and then pointed to the penalty spot. Ben Allan gratefully stepped up to drill the ball into the bottom corner to give Padiham the lead against the run of play.
Then as Colne pressed forward in search of a goal which would have given them a well deserved equaliser they were caught out by a log clearance over the top and Taylor nipped in between two defenders and lobbed the advancing Thompson.
In the last 15 minutes Colne introduced McVarish and Saunders who breathed some life into their attack but they were unable to influence the result which Colne will regard as an injustice on the balance of play..
Tomorrow Colne are at Glossop North End, kick-off 3 p.m.
• COLNE are to host a free football trial Game for 16–18-year-olds on Sunday, March 31st at 11 a.m., meeting at 10 a.m.
The club and Pro-Direct Soccer Academy are looking for 25 talented footballers to join their Youth Football Scholarship Programme.
Players who join the elite programme will be given a college education in Btec Sport Level 2 and 3 alongside training and playing in a Football Academy environment.
The Youth Football Scholarship Programme is for two years and will be based at Colne Football Club.
Players will be aiming to play reserve team and ultimately first team football at a Colne.
The competitive games programme will consist of fixtures at a variety of venues across the country against semi-professional and professional football clubs, with transport provided on match days to and from the venue.
• Colne have announced two forthcoming fund-raising events.
On Friday, March 15th, ‘An evening with Mike King’ is being held at the Alma Inn, Laneshawbridge, Colne.
The evening also features former Middlesbrough and Blackburn midfielder Craig Hignett and magician Andrew Dean.
A limited number of tickets at £40 per head, including meal, are available.
If anyone is interested, contact Dave Blacklock on 07804 137049 or send a message via the club website.
On Sunday, May 12th, commemorative matches against AFC Emley are being staged at the Holt House Stadium.
The games are being staged to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Colne Dynamoes winning the FA Vase, when they beat Emley 1-0 at Wembley.
Reds manager Nigel Coates, who played in the final for Colne Dynamoes, also celebrates 10 years as Colne manager this year.
The club are looking to contact any former players and officials who are interested in being present on the day.
Anyone wishing to get in touch should contact Chairman Dave Blacklock or any other committee member at Colne FC.