COLNE’S 10-match unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of leaders Maine Road on Saturday.
This game lived up to the expectations of a clash between two of the in-form teams in the North West Counties Premier Division.
Colne began the game knowing that a victory would take them to just one point behind the Maine Road, and the Reds were full of confidence.
The game started at a frantic pace with end to end action and some telling tackles.
On five minutes Tom Fowler played a dissecting pass into the area but Jason Hart was denied by a good block by Maine Road keeper Gregory Hall.
A minute later Ashley Caster showed good feet down the left to skip past his marker and square the ball to Hart, who appeared to have his leg hooked off the ground just as he was about to shoot.
On 20 minutes Carter and Mark Coyne combined well to set up a chance for Dominic Craig, but Hall made a brilliant save just as the ball was dipping into the top corner.
Mickey Saunders was next to be foiled by Hall with another brave save.
But Colne’s best chance of the half came just before the break when Hart found space at the far post but was denied again by the quick reactions of Hall.
The Reds were justified in feeling a little disappointed at half-time because on the balance of play they had created the best chances, and Ben Hoskin and Scott Moore had looked solid in defence with Chris Thompson only being troubled by a few dangerous crosses from corners.
However, Maine Road began the second half much sharper, realising that they were fortunate to be still on level terms, and on 53 minutes they opened the scoring when Tom Bentham created an opening for Tom Bailey, whose rocket of a shot flew into the roof of the net, giving Thompson no chance.
Colne worked hard to get back into the game, with Carter and Craig winning the majority of contests in midfield.
But with just 15 minutes remaining, Bentham scored a brilliant goal when he showed excellent control to turn and shoot from distance into the top far corner.
The Reds continued to battle away, and their commitment could not be questioned.
And with one minute of normal time remaining they were rewarded when Carter released Craig, who drove through the defence and crossed to Hart for a simple header at the far post.
In the time added on, Colne came close to an equaliser but the Maine Road defence stood strong and were content to see out the time.
Colne’s trip to Padiham on Wednesday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, and the Reds travel to Runcorn Town tomorrow.