Pontefract Collieries miss out in late drama ahead of huge FA Cup tie with Halifax
Pontefract Collieries warmed up for their huge Emirates FA Cup date with Halifax Town in disappointing fashion as they narrowly lost at home to Stocksbridge Park Steels last night.
Craig Rouse’s men were left to reflect on what might have been as they failed to put away a 90th minute penalty and lost 1-0.
A dominant second half display looked to have been rewarded late on when substitute Joao Rangel’s goalbound shot was handled on the line by Jordan Lemon. But although the Stocksbridge player was red carded the resulting penalty was saved and there was no time for Ponte to take advantage of their extra man.
Stocksbridge had led from the 42nd minute when Sam Finlaw finished off a swift counter attack and Colls’ night was summed up when Eli Hey hit the crossbar when the scores were still 0-0.
They went close several times after the break, but the ball would just not go in.
Pontefract now concentrate on what must rank as the biggest game they have ever staged at their Regional Electrical Service Ltd Stadium this Saturday when National League side Halifax Town are in town for the fourth qualifying round FA Cup tie.
A place in the first round proper, along with teams from the Football League, is at stake, but the extent of the task facing Colls is shown with a quick look at the current league tables.
Ponte are lying in 15th in the Northern Premier League East while the Shaymen ended last weekend in third in the National League with 23 points from their first 11 games this season and are very much pushing for a return to the Football League.
But Ponte have already made history by reaching this round for the first time and their cup run has already seen them knock out Handsworth, Squires Gate, Barnoldswick Town and Goole AFC, scoring 13 goals in the process.
A record crowd looks set to attend with all of the online tickets having now sold out. The first 500 were sold in the first two hours of tickets being on sale to show the demand to see the game.
There are some tickets still available from club partners Monkhill Sandwiches by visiting the shop (during their opening hours) on Monkhill Lane, Pontefract.