Colne got their FA Vase campaign off to a great start on Saturday with an emphatic 5-1 win against Athersley Recreation from the Northern Counties League East.
The Reds started confidently, keeping possession and passing the ball well in midfield and across the back four.
Up front, Jason Hart got behind the home defence on several occasions, and tested keeper Neal May with a stinging shot that he pushed over the bar.
However, the Reds found themselves a goal behind when Tom Harban took full advantage of a free kick on the edge of the area, and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net to give Athersley the lead on 17 minutes.
Colne stuck to their task and carved out an equaliser after 25 minutes, when Kenny Taylor headed home at the second attempt, with the home defence under pressure.
Three minutes later, Hart’s low cross into the area was only half cleared by a defender, and Ben Hoskin side-footed home through a crowded goalmouth to give the Reds the lead at 2-1.
Athersley fought hard to get back on level terms, and Ryan White fired over the top of the Colne goal from a good chance on 38 minutes.
On the stroke of half-time, the Reds defence faced a similar free kick on the edge of their area to that which led to Athersley’s goal, but this time Harban fired the ball high over the bar, and the score remained 1-2 at the interval.
In a lively start to the second half, Chris Thompson saved a close range shot from Dane Hodgson, and saw Adam White’s diagonal shot whistle past his far post.
At the other end, Danny Boyle’s shot was cleared from the home goalmouth, and Marc Young’s bullet header was pushed over the bar by an acrobatic save from the keeper, before Ben Allen forced another good save from May with a goalbound shot.
But Colne added a third goal to give themselves a cushion after 72 minutes, when Boyle scored from close range following Hoskin’s throughball into the penalty area, after Allen’s run from midfield.
The Reds pressed home their advantage and added a fourth goal on 79 minutes when Tom Berwick’s superb low cross was side-footed home by Adam Stockdale, with the home defence wrong-footed.
And one minute later, Hart rounded off the scoring with a solo effort as he ran at the home defence and fired home a shot that flew like a rocket into the top corner of the net.
It was an excellent team performance, and on this form Colne will hope to have a successful run in the Vase this season.
Tomorrow, Colne travel to Bootle for a league fixture, before welcoming Holker Old Boys to the XLCR Stadium on Tuesday evening in the LFA Trophy.
Colne’s game on Tuesday night at home to Atherton Collieries was postponed due to a problem with the floodlights, which has been sorted out in time for next Tuesday.