Pontefract Collieries took a giant step towards possible promotion with a vital 2-1 victory over promotion rivals Clipstone in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League on Saturday.
Prolific marksman Aaron Moxam was the hero once again as he scored both goals to clinch a victory over a side that started the day just two points behind Colls with two games in hand.
Ponte got a dream start to their big game as they were in front in only the second minute when Moxam raced onto Andy Catton’s pass to go clear and fire past goalkeeper Nick Siddons.
But this was to be no goal-fest as chances were hard to come by for both teams for the rest of the half in windy conditions that made it hard to play constructive football.
Colls looked comfortable in the lead, but were stunned in added time when Clipstone equalised with a controversially awarded penalty put away by Rich Mintoft after Nigel Danby was adjudged to have tripped Ash Rawson.
It did look like the Ponte skipper had won the ball in a good tackle, but to the dismay of the home contingent the spot-kick made it 1-1 at the break.
Pontefract regrouped and got back on top in the second half when Josh Corbett was unlucky to hit the crossbar with an ambitious volley.
They did come up with a winner on the hour, however, and that man Moxam struck again, netting from inside the six-yard box for his 27th goal of the season.
Colls then held on comfortably with keeper Craig Parry rarely troubled until they had a late scare when going down to 10 men as Iwan Heeley was sent-off for what the referee saw as a professional foul on Luke Thomas.
The resulting free-kick came to nothing and Ponte were home and dry for a crucial win.
Colls were due to play again on Tuesday night, but their scheduled game away to Hallam was postponed and will now be played on Tuesday, April 21 (7.45pm kick-off).
This Saturday Pontefract are away to Penistone Church, who are enjoying a decent season and are in tenth place after drawing with Colls’ relegation rivals, Hemsworth MW, last Saturday.