Colne were left wondering how they had lost their FA Trophy Preliminary Round tie against Trafford on Saturday, when they had looked favourites for most of the second half until a late penalty dashed their hopes.
The Reds began brightly but conceded an early goal when Trafford’s central defender Craig Robinson gave the visitors the lead with a near post header from a corner kick after 14 minutes.
Colne built some promising attacks looking for an equaliser, but Trafford were solid and well-organised at the back.
And the visitors looked dangerous on the break as Lee Neville and Aaron Burns were both denied by Reds keeper Tony Aghayere from good chances.
A series of crosses by Colne into the visitors’ goalmouth were cleared by the Trafford defenders and Ben Hoskin’s header just before half-time flew wide of the far post.
The Reds stepped up the pace in the second half and Lee Pugh’s long throw fell to Mark Ayres in the penalty area, but his shot lacked power and Trafford keeper Russ Saunders got down to save on the line.
Colne levelled the scores after 53 minutes when Danny Morton’s pass found Adam Morning wide on the left wing and his well struck diagonal shot flew into the bottom corner of the visitors net giving the keeper no chance.
Colne were in the driving seat at this stage and Alex Coleman’s header was deflected just wide off a defender.
A series of chances in the Trafford goalmouth came and went with the visitors defending desperately and with the Reds unable to find the finishing touch.
Saunders made further saves to keep out headers by Ayres and Chris Lynch but was beaten when Morning’s downward header came back off the post before being scrambled clear after 77 minutes.
Five minutes later, Colne were caught out when they gave the ball away in midfield as they pushed forward.
A quick counterattack saw Kingsley Williams pulled down as he burst into the home area and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty.
Burns blasted home the spot kick to send his side through to the next round and leave the Reds to rue their missed chances, in a game they will feel they should have won.
Tomorrow Colne travel to Mossley, kick-off 3 p.m., and then the Reds are at home to Ramsbottom United on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7-45 p.m.