Colne earn away point

PRESSURE: Dominic Craig
PRESSURE: Dominic Craig

COLNE came from behind twice to earn a point at Bacup on Wednesday night in a game of two halves.

The Reds defence struggled to cope with the Bacup attack in the first half with the twin threat of strikers Dave Gray and Tommy Turner always looking to make quick breakaways on through balls, and overlapping fullback Matthew Bryan a constant threat with his pace on the left wing.

And it was Bryan who made the run after 15 minutes and supplied a perfect diagonal ball for Gray to nod home with a glancing header and give Bacup the lead.

But Colne hit back just two minutes later with an equaliser when Dominic Craig forced a corner at the other end and Jason Hart curled his corner kick just inside the far post as Kristian Evans pressurised the defence.

But Bacup restored their lead after 21 minutes when Turner won the ball on the left and pulled it back from the bye line for Gray to sidefoot home from 10 yards.

The rest of the half belonged to Bacup as the Reds battled hard to contain them.

Carl Ellerton and Micky Saunders came off the bench at half-time and some tactical changes altered the pattern of the game as Colne took control.

Ashley Carter opened up the home defence with a great run after 65 minutes but lifted his shot over the bar and Saunders tricky footwork left defenders floundering as the Reds turned up the pressure.

Mark Coyne was outstanding in midfield while Ben Hoskin supplied some great crosses from the right wing.

Craig was denied when the keeper went down at his feet after he had robbed Martin Cosgrave on the edge of the home penalty area and Hart’s great cross went begging across the Bacup penalty area when it only needed a touch.

But after 83 minutes, Colne got their reward when Hoskin supplied Ellerton on the left wing and his cross was headed home by Lee Barrett in the goalmouth to level the score at 2-2.

The Reds were on top until the end and could easily have had a winner when Barrett’s through ball gave Hart a sight of goal but he fired over under pressure from two defenders.

On Saturday, on a day when most other games were off with waterlogged pitches, Colne managed to beat the weather on Saturday and earned a point against Stockport Sports in a hard fought 1-1 draw.

The Reds were without top scorer Hart and Carter but were in confident mood after two successive wins.

However it was the visitors who made the better start with Drew Frempong looking dangerous with his strong runs at the Colne defence, and Nick Niagioran forcing Chris Thompson into a vital save after only eight minutes.

Colne central defender Bill Williams made some tremendous tackles to cut out the danger on several occasions and in one sweeping challenge took the ball, the winger and the linesman out of play.

After the Reds had weathered the storm, the game swung back their way and Barrett looked certain to give them the lead after 25 minutes when a half clearance fell to him in the visitors’ penalty area but keeper Danny Tabener got down well to block his shot before it was scrambled clear.

And two minutes later, Kristian Evans released Barrett for a run on goal but again Tabener saved his shot.

Ricky Anane struck the top of the Colne crossbar with a dipping 25-yard shot as Stockport threatened again and Scott Moore cleared a dangerous cross from the Reds’ goalmouth following Josh Miller’s penetrating run.

In a period of Colne pressure just before half time, Evans and Williams had efforts just off target but the Reds made the breakthrough two minutes after the interval.

Coyne’s diagonal pass was chested down by Craig and dispatched into the bottom corner of the net with a confident finish to put the Reds in front.

Colne pressed forward in search of a second and Evans laid on another chance for Craig but Tabener pushed his shot round the post.

Then Coyne flashed a shot just wide after bursting into the penalty area.

The Reds were in the ascendancy and created more chances with a series of flowing moves through the midfield with Jimmy Crorken and Saunders involved.

Barrett’s header only found the keeper after 65 minutes and Craig’s superb run while holding off defenders was only stopped by a desperate challenge in the area after 70 minutes.

But the visitors struck back after 83 minutes when Frempong made a run to the bye-line and his low cross was knocked home by Niagioran for the equaliser.

Stockport will feel that they deserved a point after a hard fought contest in which they played a full part, but Colne will look back at their missed chances.

Colne are at home to Ashton Athletic tomorrow, kick-off 3 p.m., and their reserves are at home on Monday night to Curzon Ashton Reserves, kick-off 7-45 p.m.