The Reds were made to battle all the way by a tough uncompromising Linnets side who had beaten them by a narrow margin just over two weeks previously.
The pattern of the game was similar to many recent ones as Colne took control in the first half in a high energy attacking display. Sam Hayes
running up front caused the visitors’ defence problems and Joe Garvin’s accurate inswinging corners always looked likely to produce a goal.
tested keeper Richard Mottram on several occasions as the Reds pressed home their advantage but, at the other end, Kevin Towey headed a free kick just wide of the near post of the Colne goal as Runcorn briefly threatened.
Colne took the lead after 28 minutes when Garvin squeezed a low cross from the bye-line to the near post where Hayes challenged the keeper and the ball ran free to Micky Woodvine
who found the net with a low shot from 10 yards.
As the Reds pushed forward, Garvin saw his corner headed out of the six yard box and seized upon the loose ball to drive in a hard low shot that the keeper struggled to hold on to in a crowded penalty area. Minutes later Hayes won the ball in a challenge on the keeper and his shot looked destined for the top corner of the net until a defender got back to head it clear. Then Mottram did well to save at Hayes’ feet after Mark Threlfall had headed the ball down in the goalmouth.
But after 38 minutes, the Reds gave the ball away in midfield and Runcorn’s Ross Lloyd provided a through ball for Matthew Atherton who chipped the ball over Chris Thompson
and into the roof of the Colne net to level the scores at 1-1. And three minutes later, Atherton again broke clear but this time Thompson came out on top with an excellent save.
Colne began the second half on the attack but were given a warning after 53 minutes when Adam Wade slipped through the home defence and forced a one-handed save from Thompson to turn his shot round the post.
After 62 minutes, Garvin’s ball down the left was skilfully flicked on by Hayes and released new signing Ashley Carter who kept his cool and went round the keeper before slotting the ball home from a narrow angle to give Colne the lead on his debut.
Runcorn came back strongly and tested the Reds defence. William Webb hit the post of the Colne goal from close range after 76 minutes and the same player saw his shot strike the top of the crossbar before going behind on 85 minutes. But the Reds were determined not to let the points slip and fought every inch of the way in a nail-biting finish.