Pontefract Collieries stretched their unbeaten run to 16 games with a top quality display that saw them beat fifth-placed Shirebrook Town 3-0 in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League.
Victory kept Ponte in fourth place and they were delighted with one of their best team performances of the season against strong opposition.
Colls took the game to Shirebrook and went looking for an early goal. They got it on seven minutes when the offside trap was sprung as Liam Radford picked up an exquisite through ball and raced the full length of the opposition half, shrugging off the attention of the opposing centre backs to coolly slot the ball wide of keeper Sam Andrew.
The goal spurred on the opposition and for the remainder of the first half the Shirebrook players held their line up the field and penned Ponte into their own half. For all their possession, though, the visitors were rarely able to find a way through on goal with Dean Twibey, Nigel Danby, Michael Staley and Josh Corbett forming a solid wall across the back.
The second half saw Colls double their lead on 50 minutes when Danby met a corner and although Andrew parried the ball was judged to have crossed the line.
Shirebrook threw everything at the hosts in a bid to hit back, but the closest they came was when captain Twibey cleared off the line.
The game erupted on 85 minutes with the seemingly harsh sending off of Shirebrook’s leading scorer, Aaron Moxam, for using an elbow with intent on Chris Kamara. Any slim chance they had of getting anything from the game ended at that point and Ponte used the extra man to finally take control of the game.
In the last minute of normal play the ball cannoned around in the Shirebrook area and fell kindly for Brent Leister, who hammered it into the net for the third Colls goal.
Ponte showed real character with every man playing their part to the full. On this form they will give any team a good test, which is no bad thing as they face third-placed Bottesford away this Saturday then second-placed Cleethorpes at home the week after.