United Unfortunate At Colne
Colne 2 Skelmersdale United 1
By Simon Driscoll
After consecutive 0-0 draws, United were unfortunate not to claim a point in a 2-1 defeat at Colne. First half strikes from Bradley Knox and Ollie Crankshaw gave the hosts a 2-0 advantage before Jordan Darr cut the deficit on the hour. A string of great saves from Hakan Burton denied United from securing a draw.
The game beat the freezing conditions and saw a bright start with Burton pushing a Tom Molyneux chance past the post. Colne replied with a close-range effort from Alex Curran which was saved by Callum Roberts. A minute later, United went behind as Bradley Knox tapped in at the far post after a corner kick found him in the crowded area.
United responded with Tom Hulme hitting a shot just past the post before a long-range free kick from Jack Fleming was well saved by Burton. Colne's Simon Nangle swept a free kick over the bar while at the other end a stray pass from Burton found Darr who after advancing on goal saw his effort blocked.
Andy Hollins saw a header saved by Roberts from a Colne free kick before Fleming saw his free-kick deflected past the post. United came achingly close to an equaliser on 36 minutes as a clever cross from Bevan Burey found Jack Lenehan with his point blank diving header pushed onto the bar by Burton who collected the rebound.
A clever play from United saw Phil Mooney sweep over a cross which saw Burton save a chance from Molyneux who had another effort saved from a free kick minutes later. United's missed chances proved costly just before half time as Oliie Crankshaw doubled the lead. He collected the ball on the edge of his own half and tore through the United defence before rilfing into the top corner past the diving Roberts.
The opening third of the second half was an even one with United cutting the deficit on the hour mark, a one-two between Hulme and Burey saw the latter send a low cross to the back post where Darr connected to tap past Burton for 2-1. An equaliser for United almost came with 70 minutes on the clock as a Fleming free kick found Roddy at the far post, his header forcing a one-handed stop from Burton who collected the ball at the second attempt.
A clever run from Fleming saw him shoot from long-range with the effort going just past the post before Colne had too good chances from close range at the other end with Chris Lynch heading wide before a Sam Howell cross saw substitute Connor Hughes lift a shot over the bar. The final whistle sounded to the joy of the hosts who extended their perfect start to the year while United reflected on their first loss in three games.
Colne - Burton, Coleman (c), Pugh, Lynch, Hollins, Nangle, Morgan (Howell 75), Knox, Pratt (Hughes 63), Curran,Crankshaw. Subs not used- Hodgkinson, Kouadio, Barker.
Skelmersdale United- Roberts, Mooney (Baxendale 49), Fleming, Roddy, Hollett (c), Wardle, Darr, Molyneux (Galloway 63), Hulme, Lenehan (Randell 79), Burey. Subs not used- Mitchell, Cheetham.
Att - 141
Referee - Paul Ince