Four star Pontefract Collieries close gap on top teams in BetVictor NPL North West
Pontefract Collieries kept the pressure on the top three in the BetVictor NPL North West Division when they found the net four times away at Pickering Town.
Bottom of the table Pickering proved resilient opponents as they managed two goals of their own, but the victory maintained Colls’ promotion ambitions as they closed the gap on two of the teams above them.
Workington lost top spot when they went down 2-0 to Ramsbottom United while third-placed Marine were held 2-2 at home to Brighouse Town and are now just one point ahead of fourth team Ponte, who have four games in hand on them.
Colls will now be looking to climb into the top three themselves when they travel to play Clitheroe, in seventh, this Saturday, and host mid-table Prescot Cables next Tuesday.
They were quickly in control on their trip to North Yorkshire last weekend with winger Brad Dockerty scoring a terrific opening goal after 10 minutes. Picking the ball up 30 yards out, he beat two men before firing past the home keeper.
A second goal followed 10 minutes later with striker Joe Lumsden getting in behind the Pickering defence to finish confidently.
It stayed 2-0 to half-time with the hosts improving their defending after their poor start, but Ponte re-established control after the break and added their third goal when Mikey Dunn went on a great run before cutting back for James Baxendale to score.
Niall Tilsley pulled a goal back for Pickering who showed the kind of spirit that could see them escape the drop despite their current predicament, five points adrift at the bottom.
But Colls were not done as Dunn was brought down in the box by the home keeper and Vaughan Redford stepped up to put away the resulting penalty to make it 4-1.
Pickering did manage a consolation goal when given a penalty of their own that Iwan Heeley converted.
It was too late to prevent Ponte from taking home the three points, however, as they ended 4-2 winners to move to within seven points of top spot, which is now held by Ramsbottom, who have played five more games than Collieries.
Pontefract were in action again on Tuesday night, but were knocked out of the West Riding County Cup when they played their rearranged second round tie at home to Goole.
The game ended 2-2 with Goole scoring a late equaliser, but it was the visitors who went through with a 4-2 success in a penalty shoot-out.
Ponte went with a strong team and made a flying start to be ahead inside six minutes through striker Lumsden, but they were unable to kick on and Goole levelled within seven minutes as Regan Wauld netted.
Brad Dockerty fired the home team back ahead in the second half only for Devante Morton to equalise a second time for Goole two minutes from time.
Two misses in the resulting shoot-out saw Colls edged out of the competition and Goole will play Guiseley in the next round.