OVER-ZEALOUS refereeing meant Colne were chasing this one from as early as the second minute. And despite a battling performance, John Lister's men slipped to a disappointing third league defeat.

Striker Matt Aspinall was red-carded after just 90 seconds for back-chatting the referee over an offside decision.

"I wouldn't mind, but Matt is one of the quietest players in the squad," said player-manager Lister.

"He could have given a warning, a yellow card OK, but to send him straight off really set us back."

Colne's 10 men, however, had the better of the first-half exchanges against one of the sides who are fancied for the title this year.

They took the lead with a Chris Ingham penalty but Stand equalised 10 minutes later.

Ingham, Lister and James Webster continued to dominate the midfield, though, keeping Colne in the game despite the numerical disadvantage.

And it was no surprise when a well-worked move down the left was crisply finished by teenage prospect Gavin Cooper, giving the home side a 2-1 lead at half-time.

After the break, the visitors' pressure told when slack defending allowed Stand in at the near post to equalise.

For the most part, the game was evenly-matched despite its controversial opening. It was wholly appropriate that the turning point came via another controversial decision.

"An innocuous challenge, but he gave them a penalty, I couldn't believe it," said Lister. "They scored and we had little chance after that. It was disappointment all-round, but I am encouraged by the way the team rallied. We play Chadderton on Tuesday, I am sure we can get a result there."