Pontefract Collieries made it three wins on the spin when they proved too good for a physical Bottesford Town side in a Toolstation NCE Division One game on Saturday.
A 2-0 victory came on the back of a 3-2 success away to Eccleshill United last Wednesday and shot Colls up the table to third place, five points behind leaders AFC Emley with a game in hand.
For once Ponte were able to field an unchanged side and they felt the benefit, although the heavy pitch made it difficult with players finding it hard to keep their feet.
For 20 minutes both sides battled for supremacy with Bottesford adopting a more physical approach that cost them in the 28th minute when they gave away a free-kick. From it the two Ponte strikers combined well with the ball neatly flicked on by Dean Wharam into the path on Liam Radford who raced past the visitors’ defence and hammered the ball across the face of the keeper and off both posts into the back of the net.
Bottesford’s physical nature was their undoing again on the stroke of half-time as Wharam provided another assist by holding the ball up and then threading it through for Andy Catton to drive at the heart of the defence. The winger skipped past three defenders across the face of goal as he looked for an opening to get his shot away and was then flattened in the area to bring about a penalty put away by Radford.
Ponte started the second half playing into the strengthening wind, but Bottesford were unable to take advantage as both Danby and Copping were in magnificent form in the heart of the home defence.
Colls used all three substitutes with Rouse, Heeley and Kamara replacing Radford, Catton and Wharam respectively. In the end they ran out comfortable, if a little more bruised, winners.
The win saw Ponte close the gap on second-placed Clipstone who lost at Penistone. With Colls travelling to play Clipstone now this Saturday it makes the next game a real “six pointer”.
Pontefract produced one of their best performances of the season last Wednesday when they won 3-2 away at Eccleshill United, who went into the game in third place in the division.
New boy Wharam scored the only goal of the first half before Colls doubled their advantage seven minutes into the second period when Radford slotted a penalty.
Eccleshill hit back through Adam McCabe, but Ponte restored their two-goal cushion when awarded a second spot kick and Radford made no mistake again.
A nervy finish ensued after James Burgess scored the hosts’ second goal four minutes from time, but Colls held on for their deserved win.