Lyon doubles up in Ponte Colls Vase victory

Steve Lyon
Steve Lyon

Pontefract Collieries progressed through the first qualifying round of the FA Vase with a fine display that brought them a 2-0 home victory over higher league St Helens Town.

Colls were in charge from early on after making a flying start to go in front through Steve Lyon after just four minutes as he hammered home Liam Radford’s inch perfect cross.

Radford continued to create problems for the Saints centre-backs and Lyon doubled the lead on 26 minutes after latching on to Radford’s through ball.

It stayed 2-0 to the final whistle with Ponte delighted by an improved defensive display that saw them restrict their opponents to just one shot on target.

But the gloss was taken off the win a little as Brenton Leister made a poor challenge late on and was sent-off along with the visiting keeper who had unnecessarily joined the melee that followed.

Colls now face Winsford United in the second qualifying round of the national competition after being drawn away with the tie to take place on Saturday, September 21.

Ponte were also in winning form in midweek in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League, but left it late to clinch a 2-1 victory at home to Louth Town.

The visitors used their height advantage to maximum effect throughout and Ponte were made to struggle before coming up with two goals in the last eight minutes to seal the points.

All the early pressure was from Ponte as they looked for a return to form after the defeat by Hemsworth. Radford showed good early form partnering Nathan Perks up front and a well struck free-kick fizzed just wide.

Josh Corbett shot just wide following good work from Andy Catton and Perks was unlucky to hit the upright following good work by Leister and Craig Robinson. But Louth started to dominate and went ahead when player-manager Daryl Clare dispatched a sweet free-kick into the net giving keeper Craig Parry no chance.

Colls pushed to equalise and Leister made a good run to get on the end of a deep cross only to head just wide. A minute later Radford made a good run into the box but again shot wide.

The second half started with a re-shuffled Ponte back four as Tom Robinson came on to replace the injured Danby. They huffed and puffed trying to get back into the game but Louth continued to dominate and look dangerous.

Perks was replaced by Kingsley Wetherald, but still that did not make a difference so joint managers Nick Handley and Duncan Bray decided to gamble by taking Adam Robinson off and going to a three man defence, bringing Lyon on to add to the attack.

That change proved to be a master stroke although it was not without risk and Parry had to be at his absolute best to keep out the swift Louth counter attacks that managed to breach the depleted defence.

The breakthrough came on 82 minutes as Catton skipped past four Louth defenders and leathered the ball into the bottom corner of the net for a superb equaliser.

The goal rattled Louth and three minutes later Radford’s run and cross was met by Leister, who hammered the ball into the net to give his team the lead.

Louth tried hard to get back into the game, but Ponte kept them penned in and sealed their second league win. This Saturday they are at home to Rossington Main before entertaining Shirebrook Town in the NCE League Cup preliminary round next Wednesday.