AFTER last week’s narrow defeat to league leaders Maine Road, Colne travelled to face second-placed Runcorn Town in what promised to be another closely-contested game.
And the match did not disappoint, providing sufficient entertainment to warm up the crowd on a bitterly cold afternoon.
Colne made a good start and after just two minutes they looked likely to take the lead when Jason Hart played Mickey Saunders through the middle, but with just the keeper to beat he blasted his shot over the crossbar.
Then a few minutes later Runcorn were fortunate to take the lead when Mark Keddie’s shot from the edge of the area deflected over Chris Thompson off an outstretched leg and bounced into the corner of the net.
Ten minutes later Saunders had the ball in the net for Colne but he was ruled off-side. Then on 25 minutes the Reds scored a well-deserved equaliser when, after good work by Ashley Carter, Robert Grimes volleyed home into the far corner.
Play then fluctuated from end to end with both sides creating scoring opportunities.
After beating two defenders Keddie blasted into the side netting, then Shanley was denied by an acrobatic save by Thompson.
And for Colne Mark Coyne and Hart were foiled by good saves by Karl Wills.
Colne certainly showed more desire in the first period and they finished the stronger looking favourites for all three points.
After an early scare in the second half when Shanley blasted the ball against the post from close range, Colne took the lead again when Grimes and Carter combined to create an opening for Hart, who blasted home into the top far corner.
But after a period of poor defending, the Reds surrendered the lead on 70 minutes when they failed to clear their lines and allowed Shanley the time and space to fire across Thompson into the bottom far corner.
Runcorn were now pushing forward in search of a winner as the Colne defence dropped deeper and deeper being stretched down both flanks by McShane and Shanley, who posed problems but could not convert the chances.
And after surviving all the pressure for 20 minutes, Colne had chances to win the game in the last 10 minutes.
Ed O’Neill burst into the area and played a ball that went begging in front of goal.
Carter made several great runs but his shots were narrowly wide.
And Coyne set up a chance for Mickey Woodvine which he scooped over the crossbar.
In the end a draw was a fair result for two commited teams who had entertained the appreciative crowd.
Colne’s next game is on Saturday, December 15th when they host Runcorn Linnets at the XLCR Stadium.