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Ponte Colls aiming to make history in exciting run-in

Pontefract Collieries manager Craig Parry.
Pontefract Collieries manager Craig Parry.

Manager Craig Parry is expecting more twists and turns to come before promotion is finally decided from the Toolstation NCE League.

One of those twists went against Colls last Saturday when they were edged out 1-0 by Penistone Church – losing to Jordan Coduri’s 54th minute goal.

With leaders AFC Mansfield winning 3-1 against Worksop Town and Ponte having yet another game called off last Wednesday at Staveley MW it left Parry’s men 11 points off the top, although they closed that gap by three when bouncing back brilliantly with a 5-0 success at home to Garforth Town on Tuesday night. And they still have five games in hand.

At stake is a place in the Evo-Stik League for the Premier Division winners and Collieries will be champions for the first time if they can win seven more matches or maybe just five more if one of them is against Mansfield.

Third-placed Pickering Town are also still in the running and with Colls facing a punishing finish to the campaign as they play catch-up it is going to be a difficult task to get over the line.

“I think the club deserves to be in the Evo-Stik when you look at everything going on behind the scenes,” said Parry.

“I’m not just saying it because I manage this group of lads, but this group of lads have been here for 18 months and there’s lads who have come in from Sunday Football. They are honest lads who deserve Evo-Stik Football, but let’s see what happens.

“If we can do it, it will be one of the biggest achievements in non league football out there, but we can’t look that far ahead at the minute. We have to take it game-by-game and keep everyone level-headed.

“A lot of credit has to go to the players. I want to put on record how well these players have done because they don’t get enough credit. I hope they can finish the job off.

“It is going to be tough because of the amount of games we have to play and it is going to be a big demand on the lads.

“All we can ask is that they stay professional. We have to keep mixing it up and get the strongest and fittest side out each game and hope it is enough. It is going to be tight. There’s going to be twists and turns from now until the end of the season.”

In Pontefract’s latest game at home to Garforth Town they put nerves to one side in a confident display against opponents who had beaten them in the sides’ first meeting this season.There was never much chance of a repeat score once skipper Mark Whitehouse had put them ahead on 22 minutes with a cracking free-kick.

Within two minutes it was 2-0, Mikey Dunn with a good run and finish, and a third followed before the break with Jack Greenhough netting.

Aaron Moxam weighed in with two more goals in the second half to complete a good night’s work.

With the games coming thick and fast Colls next take on Barton Town at home tonight before hosting Liversedge on Saturday. Next Monday it is Bottesford Town away then the big one at AFC Mansfield next Wednesday.