Pontefract Colls return to winning ways

Scorer: Mark Whitehouse.
Scorer: Mark Whitehouse.
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Pontefract Collieries climbed back up to fifth place in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League when they won 2-0 at Grimsby Borough on Saturday.

First half goals from Reece Hicks and Mark Whitehouse proved enough to give Colls their expected victory over opponents who have struggled so far this season.

Up against the side with the worst defensive record in the division, Ponte were disappointed to only come away with two goals, but they could have had many more with the final score flattering Grimsby.

Colls had the rarity of putting out a strong side with players returning. Keeper Parry was protected by a back line of Robinson, Corbett, Danby and Copping while Joseph partnered Hicks in central midfield and Whitehouse and Catton played out wide. Rouse and Radford were partners up front.

Ponte took control of the game from the outset and showed their attacking intent. As early as five minutes in Catton rattled the post as the Colls drove forward in wave after wave of attacks.

Every time the Grimsby defence cleared their lines their young forward line struggled to hold the ball against the experience of Danby and Copping, who won almost every challenge in the air. Ponte virtually camped in the Grimsby half with Radford, Catton and Whitehouse tormenting the home defence with their strong runs.

The breakthrough finally came on 32 minutes as Copping sent Whitehouse on the run and he picked out Rouse. With his back to goal, the striker was allowed room to turn and fired a ball across for the on-rushing Hicks to hammer home.

Colls should really have killed the game off then as chance after chance went begging with all the forward players guilty of missing some good chances.

But they did add a second on the stroke of half-time when Whitehouse capped his best game in a Ponte shirt by ghosting in at the far post to meet an inch perfect cross from Joseph and loop his header over the Grimsby keeper and inside the far post.

The second half was more of the same and if anything Colls had even better chances as the Grimsby lads tired.

But they could not increase their advantage despite the introduction of Simpson, Heeley and Bray for Rouse, Catton and Radford to have fresh legs on the field.

Any chances that Grimsby did manage to create were snatched at and they failed to test keeper Parry who must surely have had his quietest game so far this season.

However, against better sides missed chances will prove costly for Ponte and they will need to sharpen up in front of goal to kick on after their highly promising start to the league campaign.

Pontefract to play away at Eccleshill United tonight (Wednesday) and are in action again this Saturday in another league game when they host Bottesford Town, kick-off 3pm.