Colne earned a well-deserved point against league leaders Brighouse Town at Holt House on Saturday, and could have had all three if they had taken their chances.
Despite having several players missing due to injury, the Reds rose to the occasion and more than matched their Yorkshire opponents in an open, end-to- end game that was far more entertaining than the scoreline suggests.
Manager Steve Cunningham included new signing Jack Lynch, on loan from Chorley, in the midfield, and Joel Melia started up front alongside Ben Wharton.
In the opening stages, the visitors’ attack looked lively, with Leon Osbourne making his presence felt.
But Colne had the first real chance when Adam Morning saw his shot clawed away from under the bar by Brighouse keeper Tom Taylor, and Wharton was next to test Taylor from a chance provided by Melia.
At the other end, Ben Atkinson saw his 20-yard rising shot pushed over the bar by Tony Aghayere.
But the Reds still enjoyed the majority of the attacking play and Taylor did well to claim the ball at Morning’s feet after a great exchange of passes with Chris Anderson.
Colne pressed forward in the second half but needed to guard against quick counter-attacks, and Melia did well to track back and win the ball when Osbourne made a dangerous run on the break.
Colne had a let-off on the hour when Luke Parkin shot wide from Osbourne’s low cross.
Debutant Lynch fired a shot just over, and saw his far post header saved, and in the closing stages, the Reds piled on the pressure looking for a winner, but Melia miskicked in front of goal after a scintillating run into the area.
Jake Hargreaves brought fresh legs to the attack and provided inviting crosses from the left wing. But Brighouse defended well, and Ben Hoskin fired over in an enthralling finale.
Tomorrow Colne are at Radcliffe Borough and travel to Burscough on Tuesday.