Ponte Colls earn draw with leaders

Brenton Leister: Spot on for Pontefract Collieries.
Brenton Leister: Spot on for Pontefract Collieries.

Pontefract Collieries earned a fine point from a 1-1 draw on their travel to take on Toolstation NCE Division One leaders Shaw Lane Aquaforce on Saturday.

The high flying new boys to the league from Barnsley – managed by former Colls boss Simon Houghton with assistance from another Ponte old boy Carl Fothergill – provided a stiff test for a visiting side that has suffered from inconsistency and injuries this season.

But Colls came out of the game with morale renewed as they battled well to earn a valuable point against the odds.

Shaw Lane went into the game with 10 wins from their first 12 league games, but were unable to find a way through a stiff Ponte back line in the opening 45 minutes.

It was Colls who took the lead on 36 minutes when awarded a penalty that midfielder Brenton Leister put away to give his side a half-time lead.

The hosts came out for the second half determined to improve and hit back to equalise within two minutes of the restart with the prolific Ashley Flynn netting his 12th goal of the season.

The visitors held out for the remainder, however, to earn their creditable draw. They remain in 11th place in Division One, 15 points behind Shaw Lane, but with two games in hand on them.

The game was refereed by Barclays Premier League match official Bobby Madley, who had a free Saturday as he was fourth official in the Sunday game between Norwich City and Chelsea at Carrow Road.

The 27-year-old from Ossett, who is one of the youngest officials to progress to the top flight of English football, agreed to help the NCE League out and took his whistle to Barnsley.

This Saturday Colls are back at home when they entertain a Selby Town team that is enjoying a better season than last (kick-off 3pm), currently two places and two points above Collieries.

Ponte are also at home to 12th placed Yorkshire Amateur in another league match next Tuesday (7.45pm).