Colne given stern test by Rammy

Colne striker Jason Hart scores against Rochdale Town
Colne striker Jason Hart scores against Rochdale Town

Colne prepared for tomorrow’s first league game of the season at Bootle with two final friendlies over the week.

On Saturday, the Reds beat Rochdale Town 5-1 at the XLCR Stadium, before a 4-1 defeat at home to EvoStik League side Ramsbottom United on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday, after two minutes, Colne keeper Daniel Oates was called into action when he was down quickly to deny Dom Smalley.

Minutes later Jordan Hulme broke clear but he blazed his shot over the bar.

Colne began to claw their way into the game. On 25 minutes Kristian Evans looked certain to score when he latched onto a poor backpass, but the ball ran out of play.

But on the half-hour Jason Hart opened the scoring for Colne when he raced through the defence and passed the ball into the corner of the net.

It was a similar story in the second half. Oates pulled off a good save from Hulme, but on 55 minutes he was helpless to prevent an unstoppable effort from Daniel Warrender to level the scores.

Nathan Taylor came close for Colne, but Callum Smith gave Ramsbottom the lead with an excellent strike. Phil Dean then converted a penalty and Smith notched his second in the last minute.

On Saturday, with seven first team players queuing up for treatment, Colne manager Nigel Coates had an opportunity to take a look at a few trialists and reserve team players against Rochdale.

Taylor opened the scoring on 15 minutes when he chased what appeared to be a lost cause and then block keeper Craig Holmes’attempted clearance before tapping into an empty net.

A few minutes later Dominic Craig’s excellent cross into the area which Holmes parried towards Evans, who gratefully headed back into the net.

Early in the second half Evans made it 3-0 with a towering header from a well-delivered corner by Craig.

But one minute later Rochdale struck back with a good strike from their Portuguese striker Ricardo Brandao.

Then on 55 minutes Hart showed his quality with a skilful touch onto Michael Hall who raced clear and finished well into the corner.

And on 70 minutes Hart capitalised from a defensive error to race clear and blast home to make it 5-1.

Tomorrow Colne - who finished eighth after a terrific second half of the season - travel to Bootle, who finished third, before they entertain AFC Blackpool at the XLCR Stadium on Wednesday (kick-off 7-45 p.m.). BRIAN COATES