Colne boss Steve Cunningham has praised Chris Thompson and coach Steve Petty after the Reds goalkeeper picked up the Player of the Month award for October.
Thompson kept three clean sheets in seven games - versus AFC Blackpool, AFC Darwen and Padiham - to provide a stable foundation for the club to climb to the summit of the North West Counties Premier Division.
The Reds stopper made a stunning, instinctive save to keep the Salmoners out at the WEC Group Anchor Ground and made an excellent flying save to keep out a first half free-kick against rivals Padiham on home soil.
The month ended with two away wins, first at Ashton Athletic where Chris started the night as he meant to continue.
At 0-0 he produced an immaculate save to tip a free kick to safety. In the second half, with Colne leading by a single goal, he then produced another incredible reaction save to prevent the equaliser, and the Reds went on to win 3-1.
“He doesn’t get the accolades that he deserves so it’s a nice award for him to pick up,” said Cunningham. “He’s the most dedicated lad I’ve ever come across in non-league football.
“He’s the best goalkeeper in this division and the one above in my opinion. He’s up at the club training all the time and helping out the younger keepers.
“He’s so committed and I wouldn’t swap him for anybody. He’s kept us in games at times and he gets us 15 to 20 points a season.
“He’s pulled us out of the mire on many occasions. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves so I’m pleased for him.”
Cunningham added: “We’re very lucky to have a coach like Steve at the club too.
“He never gets a mention but he’s hard working and a tremendous coach. He’s made Chris the goalkeeper that he is.”
The Reds consolidated their position at the top of the table having accumulated 13 points from six games while they also progressed in the MEN United Cup and FA Vase with triumphs over Rochdale Town and Athersley Recreation respectively.
XLCR Stadium boss Cunningham, who was Steve Wilkes’s assistant when Padiham were promoted to the Evo-Stik First Division North, said: “We are flying and we couldn’t have asked for a better start.
“I’m really proud of them. We’ve lost just two games from 22 in all competitions so this has far exceeded our expectations.
“We thought we would be up there but we didn’t think we’d be in the position that we’re in.
“Confidence is good and we’re taking care of business. It’s great for the club and this is a fantastic opportunity for us. We won’t get a better chance than this to get promoted.
“This is my club and to win the title with them would be tremendous. This would be the best one yet.”
Colne entertain Alsager Town tomorrow (kick off 3 p.m.) which will see the club’s “Red Army” do a sponsored walk to the ground from Turf Moor.
The ramblers, who will cover just under eight miles, are raising funds for the club and will also make a donation to Pendleside Hospice.
Following the fixture the club will then host a race night which will commence at 7 p.m.
For more details contact the club on (01282) 862545.