In their latest pre-season test, the Stripes travelled to old friends Trafford FC to play out a highly entertaining 2-2 draw at Shawe View. David Chadwick's Stripes started the affair the better of the two teams, with Lewis Mansell troubling the Trafford defence whilst Jordan Scanlon, Harvey Gregson, Nathan Caine & Sidi Sanogo-Fofana controlled the midfield, testing but never troubling a reliable Liam Lovell in goal for Trafford.
However, against the run of play it was Trafford who claimed the first blow. A cross into the box was deemed offside by the Colls defence & travelling faithful, but was however converted by Max Hazeldine for an opening goal amongst the confusion.
It was a quick-fire double as a second soon followed. Hazeldine once again proved problematic, setting up Matty Barlow with an early cross which was dutifully prodded home.
The Colls' latest signing, Mwiya Malumo, provided reinforcements for the front-line, replacing Lewis Mansell in the dying embers of the first half, and was unlucky not to convert with his first touch.
The forward flicked a long ball over the onrushing Lovell, narrowly high of the Trafford goal, whilst the travelling support felt aggrieved no foul was given for the subsequent contact.
Though the Colls had controlled the play so far, the ruthless spell from the hosts on the half-hour mark gave them a shock lead going into the half-time break.
Confidence was regained by the Stripes upon the resumption of the second half, and the persistence and hard work paid off as Nathan Caine duly pulled one back.
Jack Evans, pushed forward into midfield following the interval, combined with Jordan Scanlon with some very pleasing football, which was ultimately played through to Nathan Caine who dutifully fired home.
The momentum was now well and truly with the Colls, with the additional boost of Trialist #15 putting the Stripes firmly in the driving seat of affairs.
Ben Rydel ultimately delivered a stunning equaliser that was befitting of such an entertaining afternoon's football.
Jack Evans & Jordan Scanlon again, two of many standouts of the Colls pre-season campaign, combined once more on the edge of the box, laying the ball off for Ben Rydel. Though the odds on such an effort would be slim at best, the versatile midfielder picked out the bottom corner from range with ease, producing a true crowd-pleasing finish.
It was an afternoon with plenty of positives for the Colls to take, with firm control in midfield combined with resilient bouncebackability following the first half set-back. Next up, the Stripes welcome Widnes to the Skuna Stadium at 7:45pm on Tuesday evening, before travelling to Witton Albion for a final pre-season outing next Saturday. Your support, as ever, is much appreciated!The Stripes: Nico Hansen, Jack Evans, Josh Askew, Sidi Sanogo-Fofana (50' Ben Rydel), Jordan Fagbola, Adam Rooney, Rio Pemberton (69' Trialist #15), Jordan Scanlon, Lewis Mansell (44' Mwiya Malumo), Harvey Gregson & Nathan Caine - Subs (Unused): Jordan Boon, Jack Buckley, Trialist #16