Colne turned in an excellent display in their first friendly of the season on Saturday and romped to a comfortable win at Rochdale Town.
A mixture of old and new players were given a run out, and manager Nigel Coates and his assistant Andy Payton will have been pleased with the results, which promise a great deal for the coming season.
In a bright opening by both sides, Jason Hart forced a great save from the Rochdale keeper, turning his shot away from the top corner of the goal before the home side were unlucky to see a shot hit the top of the bar.
Paddy O’Brien was outstanding in midfield for Colne and laid on a series of chances for his team-mates. But both Hart and Jimmy Crorken found the Rochdale keeper in excellent form. Bobby Harris in the Colne goal did well to keep the ball out in a one-on-one after 24 minutes but was powerless to prevent Jason Hill from giving Rochdale the lead after 32 minutes when he evaded the Reds’ defence on an excellent through ball.
Colne looked for an equaliser but when Hart’s cross found O’Brien at the far post, his volley was saved by the keeper’s feet. And both Danny Gleave and Tom Fowler saw their close range headers kept out by the keeper just before the interval.
The team was reshuffled at half-time with more new faces introduced and it almost paid dividends when Paul Coote’s cross was headed goalwards by Paul Barrett, only for a defender to clear the ball off the line. Coote was in action again when he made a strong run to the left of goal and finished with a shot inside the far post to level the scores at 1-1.
Chris Thompson turned an awkward long shot around the post, but an excellent move by the Reds saw Barrett head Hart’s cross narrowly wide.
Colne took the lead after 77 minutes when Steve Pickup’s superb through ball allowed Coote to beat the keeper with a controlled turn and slot into the vacant net.
The Reds were unlucky to have a Hart goal disallowed after 80 minutes following a strong run by Dominic Craig, but Colne got a third goal four minutes from time when Hart was tripped by the keeper and Coote fired home the penalty to complete his hat trick.
Colne’s next game is tomorrow when they host Ramsbottom United (3 p.m.).
In the FA Cup Extra Prelimnary Round on Saturday, August 11th, Colne have been drawn at home to Congleton Town, with the winners at Dinnington Town or Atherton Collieries on the 25th, and at Sheffield or St Helens Town or Abbey Hey on September 8th.
In the FA Vase, Colne come in at the Second Qualifying Round on Saturday, September 15th at home to Bottesford Town or Hallam.
The winners host Atherton LR or Kinsley Boys or Rochdale Town or Dinnington Town in the First Round Proper on Saturday, October 13th.
Final Score: Rochdale Town 1, Colne 3