Workington Reds stayed top of the NPL North West Division and unbeaten in the league as they rescued a point late on at home to Colne and very nearly won.

The game was played in typical Cumbrian summer weather in front of 534 hardy supporters, with almost torrential rain making for a slick surface and helping Reds to control the match with their possession-based style early on.

Reds were frustrated by the away side in the first half as they started brightly but failed to convert that into chances and goals and the visitors grew into the game.

When they did have chances early on they were thwarted by the goalkeeper and, once, by a dubious challenge which manager Danny Grainger felt should have resulted in a penalty.

A trademark 30-yard rocket from David Symington had to be tipped over the bar moments after Scott Allison felt he should have had a penalty for an elbow to the ribs in the opening stages.

And captain Conor Tinnion tried his luck with a curling shot from outside the area which was watched over by Colne goalkeeper Hakan Burton.

But possibly Reds’ best chance of the first half was denied by what looked a clear foul on Symington after he exchanged passes with Allison on the edge of the box.

The tricky winger was barged over as he burst through on goal, only for the referee to wave away shouts for a penalty.

Despite having had next to nothing to do, Jim Atkinson was alert to make a fine low stop from a Sefton Gonzales header in the 36th minute, although the flag was up for offside.

Colne grew into the half and thought they should have had penalty when a goal-bound header was blocked by what could have been an arm but again the man with the whistle did not point to the spot.

They appealed for another seconds later when Atkinson dived at Gonzales’ feet looking to collect the ball, but the striker stayed on his feet and Reds were spared.

Tinnion had a chance late in the half but was crowded out in the box and his shot deflected out for a corner which came to nothing.

The first real opening after the break came when Liam Brockbank charged down the left flank and pulled the ball back to Brad Carroll on the edge of the area.

The midfielder chipped the ball first time over the defence and it nearly fell to Allison with the goal at his mercy but Burton was out quickly to smother it.

The hosts continued to enjoy the lion’s share of the possession but Colne were supremely organised and pressed effectively to keep Reds away from the danger areas as the weather settled down.

It was too one dimensional from Reds with much of the play in front of their opponents and Grainger introduced Brad Hubbold, Matt Clarke and Nathan Waterston at the expense of Carroll and Symington and Ash Kelly as he looked to freshen things up.

The changes almost had an immediate impact as Hubbold looked to release Waterston with a pass over the top but the forward couldn’t bring the ball down under pressure.

Reds were spending more time in the Colne half again but it was the visitors who had the next chance when Brockbank had the awareness to drop back onto his line and hacked clear a Gonzales ball across the face of goal.

And things looked ominous when substitute William Hasler-Gregg diverted a low Gonzales cross past Atkinson to give the away side the lead in the 80th minute.

That seemed to spark Reds into life and, after a spell of more direct play, they levelled when a blocked Dan Wordsworth shot fell to Scott Allison and the forward made no mistake to find the back of the net.

In the end they were left wondering how they hadn’t snatched what had looked like an unlikely victory minutes ago as Tinnion rattled the post with another long-range effort then Allison got free and raced in on goal but was denied by a fine save and the visitors held on.