Ponte Colls bounce back after late goal knocks them out of FA Cup

Pontefract Collieries' Chris Jackson.
Pontefract Collieries' Chris Jackson.

Despite making a flying start Pontefract Collieries were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup at the second hurdle by higher league opponents Skelmersdale United.

Striker Eli Hey gave Colls a dream start to their preliminary round tie when he scored in only the second minute, shooting the ball home after it fell to him in the box after a long throw was not cleared.

But the Evo-Stik League side rode their luck and hit back to win 2-1 at the Harratts Nissan Stadium.

Ponte missed a couple of half chances as they continued to attack, but they needed Ryan Musselwhite to make a good save to deny Jonathan Crane’s shot.

Vaughan Redford scuffed his shot wide after doing well to work an opening in the area while Ash Emmett fired just over from distance and Hey’s shot was comfortably saved.

Colls came within a whisker of a second goal as Cody Cromack’s cross beat everybody only to bounce to safety off the crossbar.

Hey had the ball in the net only to be ruled offside and it stayed 1-0 to half-time.

Skelmersdale levelled as Jonathan Crane broke the home side’s offside trap and lobbed the ball over onrushing keeper Musselwhite.

The visitors had much more of the game now although they needed their keeper to be on good form as he saved from Chris Jackson’s well struck volley.

Ponte survived several scrambles in their area, but suffered a blow when Jackson was sent-off for a dangerous looking tackle.

They still kept going with Hey shooting wide in a crowded box and then bursting clear only to see his shot hit the post.

Another Hey shot was spilled by the keeper, but the stopper made amends with a great second save to block Kane Reece’s follow-up effort.

Despite all the near things it remained 1-1 and a replay looked on the cards until Skelmersdale came up with a 90th minute winner.

Prolific non-league star Richard Brodie got round right-back Jack Greenhough and his low cross from an angle ended up in the back of the net via a deflection off Daniel Ventre.

It was tough on Collieries who had battled well against their higher opponents, but once again finishing with 10 men did not help their cause.

Colls were looking to bounce back when they returned to the Toolstation NCE Premier Division on Tuesday night at home to Albion Sports and did exactly that with a 4-2 victory that put them in third place.

After winning two of their first three games since earning promotion back to the NCE top flight, Craig Parry’s men were in impressive form again as they were ahead within five minutes through Hey from the penalty spot.

Omar Habeeb quickly replied with a spot kick for Albion, but it was 3-1 by half-time as Jackson struck twice.

Jackson completed his hat-trick after the break and Aran Basi’s 89th minute goal was merely a consolation for the visitors.

Pontefract play their first away game of the season this Saturday when they travel to Rainworth MW, who are the early Premier Division leaders with 10 points from their first five matches. Kick-off is 3pm. They are also in action again next Tuesday as they host early Premier pacesetters Worksop Town (7.45pm).