Colne stay out in front – and earn plum FA Cup tie

Colne celebrate Morgan's opener''Pictures: Andy Pritchard
Colne celebrate Morgan's opener''Pictures: Andy Pritchard
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It’s been another good week for Steve Cunningham and his young Colne charges.

On Saturday, the Reds sent Evo-Stik Premier Division Hyde United packing from the Emirates FA Cup – earning one of the biggest days in the club’s history, a tie at Conference North FC United.

And on Tuesday night, while Colne’s 100% start to the season came to an end, a 1-1 draw at Droylsden kept them top of the Evo-Stik West Division.

Cunningham was searingly honest after the game: “My Colne boys have set high standards but tonight we were awful!

“We will learn and be better from tonight’s performance, but I cannot take away the lads’ efforts over last few weeks that have put us in this position – the club’s highest ever league placing.

“Top of the league!”

At Droylsden, the Reds took the lead just before the interval, but conceded an equaliser with the first attack of the second half and never really took control of the game.

In a bright opening period, Reece Webb-Foster came close with a shot just over after three minutes, when Alex Curran had pressured the home defence to win the ball.

But five minutes later, the Reds had a let-off when former Red Sefton Gonzales met a cross at the far post and headed wide.

After 25 minutes, Colne lost Webb-Foster through injury, and substitute Joe Gaughan added his height to the attack.

On the half hour, Gaughan tested Droylsden keeper Chris Thompson with a good effort after Brad Lynch had released him into the area.

And shortly after, Gaughan came close again when he cut in from the right and saw his well struck left foot shot fly just past the post.

But Colne had another scare when Liam Caddick seized upon a back-pass and chipped the ball just over, with Hakan Burton stranded.

One minute before half-time, the Reds got their attack into gear when Connor Hughes released Gaughan up the left wing, and his low cross found Curran in front of goal to fire home from close range.

As the second half began, Droylsden pushed forward and Caddick ran at the Colne defence before seeing his shot blocked, but Gonzales followed up to fire home the rebound.

Colne pushed forward looking to restore their lead and made a series of half chances.

On 62 minutes, Lynch raced through the home defence and looked sure to score, but a lunging tackle by Dylan Smith knocked him off balance and Thompson saved.

Within minutes, Luke Daly raced clear at the other end and only a last-ditch tackle by Alex Coleman prevented him scoring.

Droylsden keeper Thompson was at full stretch to push a curling corner over his crossbar.

And Matty Morgan’s cross went begging at the far post after great work by Curran.

The point earned may prove invaluable in the long term, and Colne remain unbeaten, and will look forward to hopefully getting back to winning ways when they travel to Runcorn Linnets tomorrow.

On Saturday, Colne battled through to the next round of the Emirates FA Cup with a convincing display against Hyde at the Sovereign Play Stadium, thanks to second half goals by Morgan and Webb-Foster.

Colne went ahead six minutes after the break, as Curran raced through and laid the ball off for Morgan to fire home.

And six minutes later, After 67 minutes, Colne doubled their lead when Morgan made an end-to-end run on the right wing, and his cross found Webb-Foster, whose volley was blocked by a defender but he fired the rebound into the top corner of the net past a helpless Peter Crook.

DAVE PRIESTLEY