Pontefract Collieries back on track

Pontefract' Collieries' Dean Wharam. (P565A444)
Pontefract' Collieries' Dean Wharam. (P565A444)

Pontefract Collieries bounced back from their previous week’s defeat against Hemsworth MW when they produced a solid display to win 2-1 away at Knaresborough Town in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League.

First half goals from Craig Rouse and Dean Wharam proved enough to bring the points back to Pontefract and lift them back into third place in the table, just two points behind Clipstone in second.

They were forced to defend well for the latest win with Knaresborough starting well as returning goalkeeper Craig Parry had to make an early save from a Colin Heath header after a Byron Littlefair cross on the left.

Soon afterwards Fraser Lancaster had a shot deflected wide, but it was Colls who went ahead in the 21st minute.

A break down the right saw a cross met by Rouse, whose looping header beat former Glasshoughton keeper Paul Hagreen.

Ponte then quickly doubled their lead when Jim Bradley’s errant cross-field pass was seized upon and Wharam made it 2-0 with a well executed lob over the advanced Hagreen.

The Knaresborough stopper did keep his side in the game as made a fine save to deny Rouse a second, but further chances proved scarce for the remainder of the half.

Colls steeled themselves for a big effort from the hosts in the second half and early on Littlefair was just wide with a free-kick.

A double substitution gave Knaresborough a more balanced shape and put the visitors back on the defensive.

The home team was rewarded when Luke McCrum headed home Craig Radcliffe’s corner in the 59th minute and it was game on.

McCrum went close with another header and Mitch Hamilton also got two efforts in as Ponte were forced back.

But Colls were good enough to hold on with one late alarm when Parry saved Heath’s shot.

It was not their best display of the season, but the win was just what the doctor ordered after their setback against Hemsworth and a midweek County Cup defeat.

Pontefract are due to be in action tonight in a massive game at home to leaders AFC Emley (7.45pm) and they are on home soil again on Saturday when Lincoln Moorlands Railway are the visitors for a game kicking off at 3pm.

They are also in action next Wednesday when hosting Maltby Main (7.45pm).