Lights go out on Pontefract Collieries’ bid to close on top three
Floodlight failure prevented Pontefract Collieries from closing the gap on the top three teams in the BetVictor NPL North West when they hosted Clitheroe on Tuesday.
Colls were 2-1 ahead with five minutes left when the lights went out and although they managed to get them back on again it was not quick enough so the game had to be abandoned.
It was frustrating for the club as another victory would have put them level on points with third-placed Marine and taken them to within five points of leaders Workington with three games in hand.
Ponte were ahead at half-time after Mikey Dunn’s 15th minute low strike. Clitheroe levelled through Jake Connolly from a corner early in the second period, but Brad Dockerty made it 2-1 on 69 minutes with a shot from outside the box.
Pontefract did bounce straight back from a defeat with a 3-0 success at home to Dunston last Saturday.
Colls were ahead from the 14th minute, but it was not until injury time at the end that James Baxendale struck twice to put the game to bed.
They made a solid start against opponents down in 15th and first went close to a goal when Joe Lumsden’s effort was cleared off the line.
A minute later Colls were ahead as a corner fell to centre-back Spencer Clarke who made no mistake.
It needed good defending to stay ahead with Dunston looking dangerous. The visitors also defended well until Vaughan Redford’s shot from the edge of the area brought a save from the visiting keeper.
Redford was set up by Lumsden, but a Dunston defender did well to make a last ditch tackle. Clarke did manage a strike from 20 yards out, but the keeper made a fine save.
Ponte were given a shock early in the second half when the referee awarded Dunston a penalty for a mystery offence from a corner. But keeper Seb Malkowski came to the rescue with a terrific save.
Redford had a shot saved as the home team looked to re-establish control while the tackles were flying in and there were more yellow cards than efforts on goal for a spell.
Both sides defended well before Colls put in a big finish to ensure their victory.
Lumsden was played clean through from halfway only to be denied as the visiting keeper did exceptionally well to keep him out.
But five minutes later as the game went into added time Baxendale stole the ball and raced through before impressively slotting it past the keeper to make it 2-0.
There was still time for one more from Baxendale as he went on a superb mazy run then found the net again.
Pontefract are on their travels this Saturday when away to bottom of the table Pickering Town.