Ponte Colls close in on promotion

Aaron Joseph, on target for Pontefract Collieries at Hemsworth MW
Aaron Joseph, on target for Pontefract Collieries at Hemsworth MW

Pontefract Collieries are now just a win away from promotion to Division One of the Toolstation NCE League following massive victories in tight games this week.

Colls followed up a 1-0 win over Knaresborough Town on Saturday with a come from behind 2-1 success in Tuesday night’s local derby against fellow promotion hopefuls Hemsworth MW.

They looked to be in for a tough night when Hemsworth took the lead on the stroke of half-time through their top scorer Nick Guest.

But Ponte turned it round with two goals in two minutes in the second period as centre-back Nigel Danby then midfielder Aaron Joseph netted.

The victory took them seven points clear of Clipstone, who are in action tonight, and eight ahead of third-placed AFC Emley with Hemsworth in fourth a further four points back. The maths are simple now with Pontefract needing two more points to be promoted and if they win all three of their remaining matches they will go up as champions.

Colls were grateful to Aaron Moxam who came up with an 85th minute winner in the 1-0 success against Knaresborough Town on Saturday.

It was tight and tense with so much at stake in Ponte’s bid to end a 15-year wait to get back in the Premier, but with rivals Clipstone and AFC Emley both drawing it was a huge result as it saw them stretch their lead at the top.

It was beginning to look like they would miss out on victory as Knaresborough defended stubbornly and were grateful to keeper Jack Rushworth, who saved well from Andy Catton and Moxam.

Josh Corbett hit a free-kick over while at the other end home keeper Craig Parry was also forced to make a good stop to deny Mitch Hamilton.

The only goal arrived five minutes from time as Colls were given a disputed throw-in and from it they worked space for Moxam to race clear before firing past Rushworth for probably his most important goal yet for the club.

The visitors looked to fight back, but Hamilton hit one effort over and had another saved by Parry as Ponte held on for the massive three points.

Pontefract will now be out to clinch promotion this Saturday when they travel to play second from bottom Lincoln Moorlands Railway (3pm), who they beat 12-2 at home in January.

They are also in action next Tuesday, away to mid-table Hallam (7.45pm).