Colne’s first visit to Kidsgrove Athletic yielded a valuable three points in a hard-fought game on Saturday.
An Alex Curran penalty early in the second half was enough to decide the game, and some resolute defending by the Reds’ well-organised back four ensured there was no comeback from the home side.
From the kick-off, Colne started brightly, and a foul on Mamadou Djabi gave Curran the opportunity to test the keeper with a 20-yard free kick, which he pushed wide for a corner after only three minutes.
The Reds moved the ball about well, with some confident passing, and another free kick after nine minutes was delivered into the home penalty area by Richie Baker, where Rhys Thompson cleared the ball off the goal-line.
In rare breaks at the other end, Anthony Malbon and Josh Lundstram tried speculative shots just off target, and Billy Priestley and Matty Makinson dealt comfortably with balls into the Colne penalty area.
After 25 minutes, Curran provided a great chance from his run down the left wing, but his low cross into the goalmouth was put wide by Oliver Wood from close range.
While two minutes later, at the other end, Lee Williamson curled a free kick over Colne’s defensive wall but straight into the safe hands of Hakan Burton on his line.
A great end-to-end move involving Brad Knox and Curran looked promising, but Kidsgrove keeper Jack Livesey raced from his area to clear the danger off the toes of Josh Hine as he broke clear.
With half-time approaching, the home side forced a series of corners, but Colne defended well, and another free kick by Williamson flew harmlessly over the bar as the sides went in level.
Five minutes into the second half, Colne won a free kick on the right wing, and when Alex Coleman’s high delivery into the penalty area was spilled by Livesey under pressure, the ball fell to Wood, who was pulled down by the keeper for an obvious penalty.
Curran converted the spot kick with confidence to give the Reds the lead.
Kidsgrove came back strongly, and crosses from both wings into the Colne area tested the Reds defence, but Coleman made heroic clearances off the goal-line on two occasions to prevent a goal.
As Colne looked to hit back on the break, a long ball from Burton sent Hine clear, but his hurried shot flew over the bar from a good opportunity, and Wood’s well-struck shot flew inches wide of the right hand post after a good build-up.
At the other end, Burton got down well to save Malbon’s shot through a crowded goalmouth.
But Colne might have doubled their lead when Wood squeezed a shot across the home goal which Brad Lynch almost reached at the far post.
The Reds soaked up some late pressure by the home side, before Colne ran out worthy winners from a keenly-contested game.
The win left Steve Cunningham’s side eighth in the Evo-Stik West Division, four points adrift of Mossley in fourth place, with two games in hand.
Tomorrow, Colne are at home to Market Drayton Town, who they beat 4-0 away from home earlier this season.
Kic-off is 3 p.m.
They have no midweek fixture, but will be back on the road a week on Saturday in the league, when they travel to Trafford, who currently sit seventh, two points ahead of Colne, having played two games more.