Ponte Colls earn bragging rights in feisty derby

Pontefract Collieries and Glasshoughton Welfare players react to a near miss on goal. Picture: Allan McKenzie
Pontefract Collieries and Glasshoughton Welfare players react to a near miss on goal. Picture: Allan McKenzie

Pontefract Collieries came from behind against local rivals Glasshoughton Welfare to clinch a fifth successive win and make it eight games unbeaten in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League.

In contrast, Welfare were slumping to their fifth straight defeat as they lost 3-1 to their neighbours at a damp Leeds Road ground.

In a good, but sometimes bad tempered affair between these two long standing rivals the hosts took an early lead through Ash Scothern, but Chris Wood hit back for Colls before half-time and they scored at the start and end of the second period to seal the three points that kept them in third in the table.

A sour note in the game was a debatable red card for Welfare’s Mike Brearley which caused uproar among players and supporters.

Pontefract started on the front foot and caused problems for the home defence in the first minutes. Jordan Turner hit a shot in from the right which was pushed away by Andy Holland in the home goal and Wood hit the loose ball back into the arms of the keeper.

But it was Welfare who took the lead on six minutes when Scothern rifled the ball past former Glasshoughton keeper Ben Saynor after a great ball in from Connor Glavin.

Colls hit back with a wicked shot that bounced off the chest of Holland although at the other end Olly Maude just failed to get onto the end of a Brearley cross. The ball fell to Nathan Keightley, but he hit his shot well over.

The visitors equalised on the half-hour. Holland did well to push Josh Corbett’s free-kick away, but Wood followed up to hammer the ball home.

Soon after Scothern should have had a second for the home side when receiving the ball 10 yards out, but with only Saynor to beat his shot cannoned back off the crossbar.

Just before the break Turner stung the hands of Holland with a well hit shot and Saynor gathered an effort from Keightley.

Colls took the lead within seconds of the start of the second half. Holland parried an effort away, but Spencer Clarke followed up to rifle home.

Straight from the restart the visitors were on the ball again and Turner fired over.

The game turned rather ugly on 58 minutes when Brearley went into a tackle with a visiting player. A number of players then got into a fracas and Brearley was dismissed by referee Michael Connell much to the annoyance of the player and home supporters.

After this tackles were flying in from both sides and Mr Connell yellow carded a number of players. The football continued and Maude had a great chance, but his weak header was cleared. Andy McManus came to Welfare’s rescue twice within seconds to block dangerous attacks.

Ponte sealed the win in the last minute when the referee blew up Callum Harrison for a foul just outside the area and the resulting free-kick was steered in by Turner.

After the game Welfare joint manager Lee Vigars said: “It was a typical local derby with both sides giving everything.

“Ash took his goal really well, but then to concede such a soft goal is frustrating. We had a great chance to go 2-1 up before half-time, but it is missed and it’s chances like that which costs us games,

“Mike’s sending off obviously changed the game and we were forced into tactical changes, but we couldn’t quite claw it back.

“I can’t fault the boys for their effort and commitment and if we can show the same each week we will win more than we will lose.”

Glasshoughton, now down to 11th, are away to Brigg Town, who are three places below them, this Saturday (3pm).

Pontefract, who remain two points behind leaders AFC Emley, are away to fourth from bottom Rossington Main in their next game this Saturday (3pm).