STEVE Lyon’s first-half goal earned Pontefract Collieries a 1-0 victory at Rossington on Tuesday evening and put them level on points with NCE League Division One leaders Worksop Parramore who they host at White Rose Stadium on Saturday.
Worksop are top on points difference but Collieries have two games in hand on the Nottinghamshire side.
Pontefract’s display at Rossington was by no means spectacular but it was highly controlled and effective. They were indebted to Lyon for an excellent finish and goalkeeper Lee Kelsey for pulling off a magnificent save.
In the opening 10 minutes, Rossington went close before Lyon sent a left-footed effort screaming towards the roof of the net, only to be denied by the home keeper.
Collieries broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when Kelsey booted the ball downfield. Rossington’s defenders allowed the ball to bounce and Lyon pounced on the opportunity to win the race to the ball and lift it over the advancing keeper and into the back of the net.
Pontefract’s Connor Rollinson twice tracked back to deny Rossington with tough challenges as the home sought a quick reply.
In the second-half, Rossington launched an attack by taking advantage of Pontefract’s defence being left short of numbers when skipper Dean Twibey lay injured on the deck. They were thwarted when Kelsey showed great agility to dive to his right and deflect a shot onto the post.
Scott McGrory worked tirelessly alongside Liam Ormsby in Pontefract’s engine room as the visitors retained control.
Lyon’s curling shot struck a post and the same player was then denied by a finger tip save.
When Rossington threatened, Kelsey won the race to a through ball and bravely dived at a striker’s feet to claim possession.
As the game entered added time, Collieries substitute Warren Redford had a close-range effort smothered by the keeper.
Pontefract: Kelsey, Twibey (Ramsay), Edwards, Robinson, Roberts, McGrory, Rollinson, Ormsby, Lyon, McGrory, McDaid (Redford). Subs not used: Bray, Handley, Haigh.
Collieries maintained their Division One title bid with Saturday’s convincing 3-1 home win against AFC Emley.
It featured three of the best goals that will be scored at White Rose Stadium this season.
Liam Ormsby’s volley into the top corner from outside the box was followed by Paul Haigh’s flying bullet header and rounded off with Steve Lyon’s great header to finish a lovely move.
Early on, Pontefract’s Steve Lyon was foiled in the penalty box by a terrifically-timed last ditch challenge from Emley skipper Chris Wadowczyk.
Collieries dominated possession but failed to create clear-cut opportunities until Dean Twibey and Greig McGrory paved the way for Ormsby’s spectacular opening goal.
With Ormsby in rampaging form, Paul Haigh and James McDaid battling well and Connor Rollinson impressing on the right, Pontefract were winning all the midfield battles.
Collieries were denied what looked like a good appeal for a penalty when James McDaid was flattened in the process of trying to head home Lyon’s cross. Emley threatened Lee Kelsey’s goal for the first time in the 35th minute but the Collieries keeper was quick to react to a through ball.
Emley had a let-off early in the second-half when Tom Robinson volleyed over the top from 10 yards out from Ormsby’s intelligent pass.
The visitors then levelled when Scott Holt was on target.
It acted as a wake up call for Pontefract who stepped up their efforts and regained the lead within four minutes when great work by Ormsby, Connor Rollinson saw Haigh head home in superb style.
Emley’s Dean Wharam was booked before Pontefract scored a decisive third goal in the 70th minute when Ormsby and Rollinson set up a chance for Lyon who nodded home a perfect cross.
Pontefract’s Will Ramsay was denied a goal by a cruel bobble when his shot flew over the top and substitute James Hicks was thwarted in added time when his header was ruled offside.
In a fluent Pontefract performance, Haigh and Ormsby were outstanding in the middle of the park, Rollinson was in top form on the right and striker Lyon gave a MOM display.
Pontefract: Kelsey; Twibey, Edwards, Robinson, Roberts,Haigh (Hicks), Rollinson (McGrory), Ormsby, Lyon, McGrory, McDaid (Ramsay). Sub not used: Bray.