Jason Hart hit a hat-trick on Saturday as Colne beat newly-promoted Abbey Hey, who had made a good start to life in the North West Counties Premier Division.
The Reds made a hesitant start to the game, with Abbey Hey retaining possession from the kick off, resulting in James Moss firing narrowly wide in the very first minute.
But a few minutes later Colne came close to opening the scoring when Kristian Evans rose above the defence to meet Ed O’Neill’s free kick, only to see the ball scrape past the far post.
After five minutes, Colne took the lead when Ben Hoskin’s free kick was headed across the goal by Evans to Mark Coyne, who slipped the ball to Hart for a clinical finish.
Seven minutes later, Dominic Craig raced into the penalty area only to be upended by Ross Heywood the Abbey Hey goalkeeper.
Hart stepped up to take the resulting penalty, which was saved by Heywood, but Ashley Carter crossed the ball back into the area, where Hart headed into the bottom corner to increase Colne’s lead.
Colne continued to work hard and began to up the tempo of the game with their short, sharp passing.
Carter was proving to be a good outlet down the left flank and Mark Coyne and Robert Grimes were dominant in the midfield. And just after the half hour mark Colne made it 3-0 when, after a mazy run by O’Neill down the right wing, he picked out Carter, who flicked the ball to Evans, who finished well into the corner.
Just before the break Colne had Chris Thompson to thank when he reacted quickly to make a brave save at the feet of Sam Jones.
In the second half Colne continued to dominate.
Craig was denied by a good save by Heywood, Hoskin saw his header fly over the crossbar and Kieron Burywood made an amazing block from Hart’s goalbound effort.
But on 75 minutes Hart made no mistake when he latched onto a great dissecting pass by Hoskin and calmly passed the ball past Heywood into the bottom far corner.
In the dying minutes Thompson made a brilliant save from a Jones shot before he was beaten by a looping effort by Emmanuel Dube.
Tomorrow Colne face league leaders Maine Road at the XLCR Stadium, kick-off 3 p.m. before the home derby with Barnoldswick Town on Wednesday, kick-off 7 -45 p.m.