Ponte Colls close in on leaders

Luke Forgione
Luke Forgione

Three first half goals put Pontefract Collieries in charge of their away game at Selby Town and ensured that they would take full advantage of a slip by leaders AFC Emley in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League on Saturday.

A 3-0 victory took Colls level on points with second-placed Hemsworth MW and to within a point of leaders Emley with a game in hand.

Ponte effectively had the game won by half-time after taking charge with three goals in nine minutes.

After an even start Colls suddenly burst into life after going ahead when Andy Catton’s quickly taken free-kick caught out home keeper Rob Zand on 26 minutes.

Within nine minutes Ponte were three up with Liam Radford in particular causing Selby major problems with his willing running.

He was at the heart of most of the visitors’ best work, although he could not top off his performance with the goal he deserved and was guilty of one big miss.

It was Radford’s presence at a corner that led to the second goal when keeper Zand was distracted by him and failed to deal with a corner. A scramble followed before the ball was put into the net by Luke Forgione.

Zand saved his team with a save from Radford as the Colls forward raced clear for a one-on-one, but could do nothing to prevent another goal for Ponte soon after as Radford again went clear and set up Mark Whitehouse for a simple tap-in to make it 3-0.

More half-chances followed, but Selby held on to half-time and could count themselves fortunate to only be three down.

They improved after the break when Ponte perhaps took their foot off the gas.

Nigel Danby went close with a powerful effort that was well blocked, but the visitors were unable to take advantage when Selby lost their original goalkeeper and he had to be replaced by youngster Theo Ceiply, who was making his debut.

Matty Turnbull and Danny Bunch went close for Selby late on, but they never threatened to get back in the game and Colls saw out the closing stages comfortably for a win that continued their good form in 2015.

Goalkeeper Craig Parry was a spectator for much of the contest and joint managers Duncan Bray and Nick Handley will be pleased with the clean sheet as well as the important victory.

Collieries: Parry, Heeley (Coppin 64), Corbett, Danby, Lindley, Forgione, Catton, Joseph, Radford (Rouse 55), Moxon, Whitehouse (Marsden 73).

This Saturday Collieries will be looking for another away win when they travel to play Worsbrough Bridge Athletic, who were down in 17th place in Division One after last weekend’s results.

With the top two meeting at Emley a victory could see Pontefract take over as leaders.