Pontefract Collieries begin search for new manager

Liam Radford, who scored a goal and was sent off for Pontefract Collieries against Garforth Town.
Liam Radford, who scored a goal and was sent off for Pontefract Collieries against Garforth Town.

Pontefract Collieries are inviting applications for manager of their Toolstation NCE Premier Division side following the departure of Nick Handley.

Handley’s shock exit meant that both the joint managers who brought Colls up from the first division last term have now left the club and the news came just a week after former boss Simon Houghton was appointed as an assistant to Handley and a new chairman is on the verge of being announced.

A statement from the club said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Nick for his input over the past few years as player, club captain and lately as manager.

“His contribution has been tremendous and we would not have achieved promotion without his efforts. We wish him all the best for the future.

“Following the club’s advertisement last month, a new chairman has been recruited who we believe has the right qualities to help take the club forwards and provide us with financial stability.

“A further statement will follow on the new chairman in the next week or so but prior to that he has said that he wishes to bring in his own management team.

“He will therefore be conducting interviews within the next fortnight and recruiting people that he believes have the right skills and experience to take the club forwards.

“With approximately a thousand new houses being built around the Colls ground, the new chairman will oversee the necessary improvements to the club’s infrastructure and facilities which will further its ambitions.

“Applications for the vacant first team manager’s role are invited and should be sent to the club via email to the secretary Trevor Waddington at trevor@pontecolls.co.uk.”

Senior players Craig Parry and Craig Rouse were put in charge for Pontefract’s game against near neighbours Garforth Town last Saturday and came up with a winning start as Colls came out on top 4-3.

A flying start was at the heart of the victory with Ponte three up inside 26 minutes before they held on against a big fight back by a Garforth side also under new management.

Jack Mawson gave the caretaker managers the start they wanted as he put Colls ahead after only eight minutes when showing good control before calmly slotting past the visiting keeper.

Strike partner Liam Radford doubled the advantage eight minutes later and when Mawson bagged his second on 26 minutes with a simple finish after confusion caused by a fine low ball into the box it seemed that Ponte were in for a resounding victory.

But Town dug in, pulled a goal back on 37 minutes through Sinmi Oyebanji’s tap-in then made it 3-2 at half-time when Oyebanji supplied a cross for Curtly Martin-Wyatt to net from close range.

It was Collieries’ turn to dig in now and they restored a two-goal lead after the break when Luke Danville headed home from close range.

Radford went close twice as they looked to put the match to bed, but Colls were then reduced to 10 men when Radford was red carded for an alleged stamp.

Martin-Wyatt ensured it would be a nervy finish by scoring the visitors’ second goal, but Colls held on for their deserved three points.

The result lifted Collieries to 14th in the Premier Division ahead of another scheduled home game tonight against Handsworth Parramore. This Saturday they are away to fourth-placed Clipstone (kick-off 3pm).