Ponte Colls’ long unbeaten run ends

Pontefract Collieries' Gareth Grant battles for the ball against Rossington Main. Picture: Adie Turford, adiesphotography.co.uk
Pontefract Collieries' Gareth Grant battles for the ball against Rossington Main. Picture: Adie Turford, adiesphotography.co.uk

After going 17 matches and more than four months since they last tasted defeat Pontefract Collieries were beaten in a five-goal thriller at Rossington Main on Saturday.

In one of the few games to beat the wet weather, Colls went ahead and looked initially on course to close the gap on the top three teams in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League, but ended up disappointed with a 3-2 defeat.

Hosts Rossington may only be in mid-table, but their recent form has been as good as Ponte’s as they had won seven of their previous eight games and went into the game on the back of five straight victories at home.

The first quarter saw Colls look much the more likely to score, though, and they went close when Liam Radford brought a fine save out of Main keeper Adam Stevens then Gareth Grant fired over from inside the area.

Colls did take the lead on 22 minutes when a misplaced pass was seized upon by striker Grant and he confidently beat Stevens from the edge of the area.

Soon after it could have been 2-0 had Chris Kamara not blazed a great chance over.

As the half drew on Ponte were taking more control of the game and looked like adding to the slender lead. Kyle Hawthorne was a particular threat down the left, but it was a Nigel Danby free-kick that fell to Liam Radford who shot wide.

Rossington turned the game round with goals either side of the interval. The turning point proved to be when they equalised on the stroke of half-time as Will McGhie’s free-kick led to Lee Holmes sending a header crashing against the bar then after the rebound was well blocked by keeper Jon Hood the ball was volleyed in by Shaun Pendleton from 12 yards.

Three minutes into the second half it was 2-1 to Rossington as a corner was only half cleared and Steve Etherington found the net with a neat lob from the edge of the box.

Further efforts from McGhie and Holmes were too close for comfort as Rossington showed why they had gone on a good run.

Colls did respond after this short period of pressure and the game continued to swing from end to end. Andy Catton went on a great chase down the right, beat the defender, and cut a cross back in which went through everyone when all it needed was a touch.

Then Stevens inexplicably gifted a clearance to Radford who did the right thing in smashing the ball back towards the unguarded goal from 35 yards only for his effort to go just wide.

Catton again caused mayhem in the home defence with another run, this time finishing with a shot which was parried by Stevens.

Radford had a similar penetrating shot on the run and a further chance fell to Josh Corbett which was saved.

Still Colls pressed and a Hawthorne effort was spilled by the keeper. Catton was alert to this, but could not quite beat Adams to get the first touch. He again produced some stunning wizardry to waltz around defenders in the area and it needed another good stop from Adams to deny an equaliser.

The result remained in the balance until two minutes from time when Holmes raced clear to make it 3-1 to the hosts.

Ponte still poured forward and from a Grant inswinging corner the ball was deflected into the net by Kingsley Wetherald. But it was too late to preserve their unbeaten run.

Glasshoughton Welfare were once again frustrated that their the Toolstation NCE Premier Division game against Liversedge was postponed last Saturday due to a waterlogged Leeds Road pitch.

This Saturday, weather permitting, Welfare visit Pickering Town for a 3pm kick-off.