Goalkeeper Toby Wells returned the first eleven after missing the opener against Hemsworth. Liam Woods and Nick Thompson made their debuts in midfield, replacing Michael Thompson and Tom Evans, the latter taking a place on the bench. Among the other substitutes was fullback Fergus McAughtrie who made a welcome return after missing the second half of last season due to personal circumstances.
Town defended well throughout in a scrappy and a times feisty encounter, but first half we struggled to create any real openings against the NPL East Division visitors who enjoyed the better of the chances. Toby Wells did well to keep Mikey Dunn's header from Gavin Rothery's free-kick out of the bottom corner as Colls looked to take an early lead. A James Burgess-Charlie Marshall partnership up front looked likeliest to create something, but the closest we came before the break was when Burgess got clear and looked to be fouled just outside the penalty area, but the referee waved play on. Down the other end, Joe Lumsden hit the foot of the post after finding space on the edge of the box, and shortly after Jake Picton's volley from a headed clearance was claimed by Wells.
The Miners improved in the second half and were desperately unlucky not to open the scoring when Burgess made a foray down the right and supplied Marshall who's shot came off the bar and then somehow into the arms of grateful Colls 'keeper Lloyd Allinson. There was another chance for Picton when he smashed over the bar from Rothery's free-kick, but shortly after on 70 mins came the deciding moment of the game. Rothery got clear of the defence and was adjudged to have been brought down by Wells inside the area, but video highlights show there to be minimal, if any, contact with the forward. Predictably, Rothery stepped up and despatched his spot-kick into the top corner to give the Colls the lead.
There was another good chance for Marshall five minutes later when he received the ball on the left, but his low shot went just beyond the far post. Alex Zachariou likewise went close with a low strike just wide after an attack down the right, then Burgess forced a good save from Allinson from McAughtrie's delivery, but the offside flag was raised.
As seen in the defeats to Whitley Bay and Shildon in previous FA Cup campaigns, Town put up a spirited display against higher-rated opponents, but it's another tale of fine margins where we've been punished for not taking chances. We return to league action on Tuesday when we travel to NCEL newcomers Frickley Athletic (kick-off 7:45pm).