Colls made their first ever sojourn to Queens Terrace, home of Ossett Albion and after briefly getting back on level terms finally succumbed to a fourth consecutive defeat.
Snow had covered the pitch the day previously but a rise in temperatures saw the game never in doubt, the Albion ground team had worked well to get the surface in a reasonable condition they had hosted a Boxing Day fixture. Colls gave a debut to custodian Greg Hartley, young gun Matty Fearnley made his first start and there were welcome returns for Jamie Forbes and Gareth Peet.
To say the first half was a scrappy affair would be an understatement . The blowy conditions made it difficult for both teams and route one football was the norm rather than the exception. Colls went into the game devoid of confidence in front of goal and openings proved difficult to create. Fearnley smashed a effort into the near post side netting before he drove in a tempting cross which just evaded Iain Howard by inches. On 36 minutes the Unicorns took the lead with a goal from nowhere. An Albion pick pocketed possession deep in his own half and a driven long ball cut open the Colls defence and substitute Tommy Wood, who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, was on hand to finish decisively. The hosts led at the interval having capitalised on the only real clear cut chance of the half.
The game could only improve as a spectacle after the break and it did significantly. Albion almost doubled the advantage within seconds of the restart but a Scott Metcalfe effort was deflected on the post and to safety. Colls marched straight up the pitch and a tantilising Ben Hardcastle cross picked out Howard in the six yard box and his effort unfortunately wedged between the legs of the relieved keeper Brett Souter.
Colls were vastly improved and in the ascendancy. Hardcastle found himself with the ball on the edge of the box with the net unguarded but he chipped narrowly wide and then Fearnley was foiled by Souter in a one on one situation before his attempt from the rebound somehow missed the target by millimetres with the Colls faithful already celebrating.
On 69 minutes the fans did celebrate a goal for the first time since 20th November. Hardcastle fizzed a palatable centre across the six yard box and Peet was on hand to apply the finishing touch at the far post. A first strike in 347 minutes.
Colls looked the likely winners but football is a cruel game. Five minutes later an Albion corner wasn’t adequately cleared and Metcalfe arrowed an out wide volley past the helpless Hartley. Wonderful technique! Wonderful goal! Matters were compounded in the 82nd minute. Frustration led to a needless free kick being given away on the touch line. The taker slipped but the ball still landed perfectly at the feet of the grateful Wood who finished with aplomb for his brace.
Albion took the spoils for a fourth game undefeated and dragged themselves further away from the foot of the table. Colls horrible December ended but the depleted team gave everything and in a game of small margins were unlucky not to get a point. Roll on 2018.
Ossett Albion: Brett Souter, Adam Porritt, Ross Hardaker, James Hurtley, Lebrun Mbeke, Aidan Chippendale, Josh Grant, Adam Priestley, Scott Metcalfe, Andy Welsh
Colls: Greg Hartley, Jake Kenny, Gareth Peet, Danny Lafferty, Jamie Forbes, Glenn Matthews (Seb Julien 67′), Ben Hardcastle, Brad Cooke (C) (Jordan Cover 78′),Matty Fearnley, Iain Howard & Josh Messer
Man of the Match – Matt Fearnley – The Bolton Wanderers youngster ran himself into the ground. Kept the experienced Albion defenders on their toes and was unlucky not to score.
Match report by Emil Anderson
Photo by Ian Monk