Colne got back into action on Saturday after six weeks of postponed fixtures, and came back with the points from struggling Stone Dominoes.
After a good start to the season the Reds had slipped down to seventh position in the league, having only played one game in the last two months, but they could still be contenders for the title if they win their games in hand.
From the outset, Colne’s lack of match practice was evident as they struggled to come to terms with the pace of the game on a slippery surface.
Stone’s Andrew Matthews was relishing his freedom in midfield and causing problems for the Reds defence, winning a series of free kicks on the edge of the area.
After quarter of an hour Matthews came close to opening the scoring after a good turn and shot just over the bar.
But on 21 minutes Colne who took the lead when Joe Garvin’s corner picked out Mark Threlfall at the back post, and after showing good feet he played in Andy Tinker, who blasted home from close range.
After the goal the Reds began to settle down and knock the ball around with more confidence, and they started to win challenges.
Wing backs Garvin and Ted Cockett began pressing forward, delivering dangerous crosses which put the Stone defence under pressure.
Just before the break Tinker found space at the back post, but after beating his marker his shot was well saved by Barry Weston.
In the second half the Reds upped the tempo of their game and had the ball in the net twice in the first few minutes, only for the goals to be ruled out for earlier infringements.
Then on 65 minutes Colne increased their lead when Danny Boyle combined well with Threlfall and crossed to the back post, where Sam Morris headed home with power into the top far corner.
The goal should have sealed the result but five minutes later Stone pulled a goal back when the Reds failed to clear their lines, and the ball dropped kindly to Matt Bradbury who had the simplest of tasks of side footing home past Jamie Scott.
Minutes later Stone thought they had scored an equaliser but Eldershaw’s header from a corner hit the foot of the post and rebounded to safety.
After several more scares, the Reds were thankful to hear the final whistle and grateful to return home with three points after a rusty performance.
Tomorrow Colne travel to Formby before their derby at Barnoldswick on Tuesday.