Colne were unfortunate to see their 100% start to 2018 come to an end at Ewen Fields, losing 1-0 to title-chasing Hyde United on Saturday.
The home team have made their home a fortress, having won 12 out of 14 games, with no defeats.
Colne started on the front foot, and could have taken the lead on five minutes when Harry Pratt could only direct an Ollie Crankshaw corner wide when well placed.
Five minutes later and Hyde had another let off when a deep free kick was headed back into the danger area from the bye line by Chris Lynch, but Brad Knox’s shot was hacked off the line by a defender.
The Reds suffered a body blow on 12 minutes when Hyde took the lead in their first meaningful attack, when Luke Porritt got to the bye line and saw his cross-shot deflect off Alex Coleman’s boot and fly into the top corner of the net past a startled Hakan Burton.
The goal lifted the home team, and they had a period of sustained pressure which the Reds battled to repel.
Colne got back on the front foot on 21 minutes when good play down the right between Coleman, Knox and Matty Morgan saw the latter race to the bye line and deliver an inviting cross, only to see a Hyde defender clear the ball from the waiting Alex Curran.
On 38 minutes, a diagonal pass by Lee Pugh was held up well by Pratt and played off to Curran, who saw his snap shot saved by the keeper at the near post.
The final chance of the half fell to Hyde and Dominic Marie, who won the ball on the edge of the area, but saw his first-time shot fizz narrowly over the bar.
Hyde had the first opportunity of the second half when Phattharaphol Khamsuk’s free kick just cleared the bar.
Colne continued to cause problems for the home team, and more good work on the right hand side saw Morgan and Curran combine well.
Curran’s incisive pass released Pratt into the area, but his low shot was comfortably saved by keeper Peter Crook.
Minutes later, Curran looked to again release Pratt, but was thwarted by a last-ditch interception.
Colne continued to push forward, and when a ball into the area was held up by Pratt, he laid it off to Curran.
But he was unable to get a shot off and the ball was cleared away.
As Colne were pushing forward, it created space and opportunities for Hyde to always looked dangerous going forward.
On 85 minutes, Hyde had the chance of the half when Dominic Marie found himself clear in the penalty area after a quick break, but he could only guide the ball wide of the post with only the keeper to beat.
Despite further late Colne pressure, they could not breach a well-drilled home defence.
Against one of the class teams in the league, Colne can be proud of their performance, with little to choose between the teams.
Games continue to come thick and fast, mainly against play-off challenging teams.
The Reds’ trip to play-off chasing Droylsden on Tuesday night was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Colne are again set to face play off challenging opposition in Glossop North End at home at the Utility Renewals Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 3 p.m.
This home game has been designated a ‘Pay What You Want’ on admission fixture.