Pontefract Collieries desperate to bounce back after losing out to 10-man Shildon
Pontefract Collieries will be looking to put their post-FA Cup hangover behind them as they look to get back to winning ways with a home game in the Pitching In Northern Premier League East this Saturday.
The cup heroics have not been backed up with Colls losing all three games they have played since taking on Halifax Town and they now find themselves second from bottom ahead of their home game with Hebburn Town this Saturday.
It is not quite must-win territory for Ponte yet, but they know they realistically have to get something from this match with their opponents having only won once on their travels in the league this season.
Colls, however, have to find some confidence after a hugely disappointing day at Shildon.
It was always going to be a tough task against opponents in second place, but hopes must have been high of bringing something back from the travel north when Shildon were down to 10 men from the 23rd minute, Ben Trotter sent-off for a high challenge that left Scott Brown down.
However, penalties either side of half-time left Ponte two down and they went on to concede two more to lose 4-0 to opponents playing with a man down for almost 70 minutes of the match.
After a week off and with a freshened team Colls initially looked up for their task, looking dangerous on attack and more than matching their high flying hosts.
But the turning point proved to be when Jimmy Williams was adjudged to have tripped Dean Thexton and the player picked himself up to open the scoring from the resulting penalty just before the half-hour.
Difficult windy conditions did not help Colls’ attempts to get back into the game and they had a mountain to climb after the referee ruled that Brown pulled back Thexton, who promptly netted his second spot kick to double the home lead on 62 minutes.
It got worse for the visitors with Michael Sweet finishing two breaks to make it 4-0.
Although Ponte kept battling to the final whistle they were ultimately second best to leave them just one point ahead of bottom club Pickering Town and desperate for a quick change round in fortunes.
After Saturday’s Hebburn game Collieries face another big test next Tuesday when away to another of the promotion contenders, Marske United.