Ponte Colls bounce back after brave FA Cup exit

Action from Pontefract Collieries' FA Cup tie against Tadcaster Albion.
Action from Pontefract Collieries' FA Cup tie against Tadcaster Albion.

Pontefract Collieries produced a spirited effort in front of a good crowd at the Harratts Nissan Stadium, but saw their FA Cup run ended by Tadcaster Albion at the first qualifying round stage.

Craig Parry’s men were never ahead, but never gave in against their much bigger spending two divisions higher opponents and could take some pride from their eventual 3-2 defeat.

Conditions were certainly a leveller as torrential rain made it tricky for both sides, but they got on with it to produce a cracking cup tie.

First to get an effort in were Ponte as Mark Whitehouse brought a save out of visiting keeper Michael Ingham with an early free-kick.

Colls did get the ball in the net as Jordan Turner headed in, but he was ruled offside.

It was the Evo-Stik League side who did take the lead on 23 minutes when Conor Sellars headed past keeper Ben Saynor after a free-kick had been headed across goal.

Saynor then made two good saves to deny Liam Shepherd and Adam Baker, but he could not prevent Tadcaster from making it 2-0 when Sellars struck again after being sent through by Shepherd.

Ponte showed they were still in the tie as they pulled a goal back four minutes from half-time. Gregg Anderson’s attempted clearance was blocked by Turner, who then reacted well to send the ball past Ingham.

Colls made a strong start to the second period as Turner raced clean through only to volley wide past an advancing keeper.

Turner sprung the offside trap again soon after, but saw Ingham get down well to his right. He then latched onto the rebound and was unlucky to see his effort cleared off the line by Andy Milne.

Relieved Tadcaster made the most of their let-offs when they struck from their first chance of the second half, Charlie Binns curling in a well struck shot following a corner to make it 3-1.

Undeterred, Ponte kept going and kept the tie alive 12 minutes from time as new signing Kieran Hirst pounced upon a poor pass by Lewis Morgan inside the area to score his first goal for the club.

The hosts put in a big finish in a bid to earn a replay with Tadcaster forced to hang on at times, but they could not find the net a third time.

They did have one late chance as sub Jack Mawson found himself unmarked in the area, but he could only head straight at Ingham.

Pontefract were back in action in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League on Tuesday night when they were away to Teversal and made it four wins from four.

After a goalless first half, Andy Seed put Colls ahead eight minutes after the break.

Luke Weaver quickly equalised, but Chris Wood came up with what turned out to be the winner on 71 minutes to clinch a 2-1 victory that moved Ponte up to third in the table.

Colls made it three wins from three when Wood scored an incredible six minute hat-trick as they beat promotion rivals AFC Emley 5-3 last Wednesday.

Wood’s treble came in the opening 13 minutes as Ponte made a lightning start.

To compound the hosts’ misery, Emley had Ruben Jerome sent off.

Jordan Coduri pulled Emley back into it, but Kane Reece and Mark Whitehouse extended Ponte’s advantage before half-time.

Referee Michael Brownsett, who was demoted at the end of last season, upset both teams as he racked up a large number of cautions and the teams were eventually levelled at 10 apiece as Reece was dismissed.

Emley reduced the deficit with late goals from Kieran Ryan and Ash Flynn, but were well beaten on the night.

Pontefract now turn their attention to another cup competition as they enter the Buildbase FA Vase at the first qualifying round stage this Saturday and face a big home game with near neighbours Hemsworth MW (kick-off 3pm). Colls are also in action next Tuesday as they host Shirebrook Town in the league (kick-off 7.45pm).