Pontefract Collieries ended Selby Town’s unbeaten start to the season when they beat their visitors 3-1 after they were reduced to 10 men with a sending off in the first half.
Games between the near neighbours are usually close and this was shaping up to be until Town’s Nathan Kamara was shown a red card for his second bookable offence.
Colls managers Duncan Bray and Nick Handley were forced to make changes to the side that had beaten Dronfield Town in the League Cup earlier in the week. With first team regulars Corbett, Swift, Danby and Catton unavailable the Ponte faithful were pleased to see the return of midfielder Aaron Joseph from his brief spell at Frickley. Adam Robinson dropped in at left-back and Craig Rouse made his full debut up front.
Ponte started well as they created an early chances with Chris Kamara firing wide.
At the other end keeper Craig Parry had to tip over a looping header.
It was Colls who broke the deadlock as a corner on 25 minutes was driven into the box by Whitehouse and met full force by an unmarked Rouse who bagged his second in two games since his return to the club.
Selby battled hard to get back into the game and both sides had further chances before the visitors levelled on 35 minutes as poor defending allowed Dane Mortimer to fire in.
Almost immediately following the restart Selby’s Nathan Kamara went through Dean Twibey on the touchline. He had been booked earlier for foolishly kicking away the ball when the whistle had gone for a free-kick so was sent off.
Ponte came out for the second half fired up by the man advantage and piled the pressure on looking to take all three points. On 55 minutes a corner was poorly defended and the ball dropped at the feet of Tom Copping who hammered home for his third goal of the season.
Selby battled hard to try and get back into the game, but their 10 men struggled as Joseph, Marsden, Chis Kamara and Whitehouse dominated midfield and kept up a supply of balls through to the Ponte strikers.
On 64 minutes the move of the match unlocked the Selby defence for the third time. Parry’s long kick up-field was flicked on by Rouse to Radford who expertly guided the ball past the Selby defence for Whitehouse to charge down the wing to the by-line and hammer an inch perfect pass across the box to Matthew Marsden steaming in at the far post. That strike effectively put the game beyond Selby’s reach although they refused to roll over in the face of the Ponte onslaught.
The same three players were on target in midweek as Colls progressed to the second round of the NCE League Cup with a 3-2 victory over Dronfield Town.
The tie was only decided in extra-time when Rouse netted the winner with five minutes remaining.
Earlier, Copping had put Ponte ahead after just 11 minutes only for Jonny Pugh to level by half-time.
Marsden’s goal in the first minute of the second half put Colls back in control, but Charles Bradwell’s 77th minute equaliser for Dronfield sent the tie into extra-time.
This Saturday Pontefract are at home to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic (kick-off 3pm) and they are also in league action, hosting Hallam next Wednesday (7.45pm).
Collieries, meanwhile, have announced that Urban Sports Yorkshire Ltd are the official club sponsors for the 2014-5 season.
Urban Sports has provided new home and away strips for the team and the ground has been renamed the Urban Sports Stadium. The Colls would like to thank Urban Sports for their support.