Malkowski ensures Pontefract Collieries keep unbeaten run going
Seb Malkowski’s penalty save ensured Pontefract Collieries’ unbeaten run continued through the first week of 2020 as they came away with a point from a trip to Tadcaster Albion.
A rare goalless draw brought an end to Colls’ five-match winning run in the BetVictor NPL North West Division, but they are still unbeaten in the league for 10 matches, having not tasted defeat since September 24.
They started the new year with a superb 2-1 home success against leaders Workington Town on New Year’s Day, which lifted them up to fourth in the table, before facing another big test against another of the promotion contenders in fifth-placed Tadcaster.
It was a battle from the off with Ponte having one chance that James Baxendale could not make the most of before the home team went down to 10 men on 21 minutes with Adam Porritt given a red card after bringing down Joe Lumsden on the edge of the area.
Chances were at a premium in the opening half, although Lumsden was unlucky to see his effort hit the post after being set up by Vaughan Redford.
Tadcaster came flying out after the break when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Jake Picton on Dominic Chimalilo, but Malkowski – showing the form that earned him the club’s December player of the month – came to the rescue as he saved Jake Day’s spot kick.
It was Tadcaster keeper Michael Ingham who then became a hero for his side, the first of his good saves denying Lumsden.
Redford also hit a good effort inches wide and although Chimalilo looked dangerous for 10-man Taddy it was Colls who looked most likely to break the deadlock. Redford saw a shot deflected and loop upwards only to hit the crossbar with the keeper stranded and Brad Dockerty went close after a good run into the box.
It just would not go in for Colls as Ingham saved brilliantly to deny Dockerty and somehow kept the ball out on the line following a corner. Mikey Dunn and Lumsden both went close and in added time Redford hit the woodwork again.
Dockerty, who made an impact off the bench, was able to play after extending his loan from Bradford Park Avenue until the end of the season.
Striker Lumsden emerged as the hero a few days earlier as he bagged both goals in the 2-1 win over Workington.
He fired Colls ahead after just two minutes and doubled the advantage on 37.
Trouble in the crowd marred the game, but although Scott Allison pulled a goal back 20 minutes from time Ponte held on to beat the leaders.
They face another big challenge this Saturday when looking to maintain their 100 per cent home record against seventh-placed Marske United, who are only three points behind them.