Pontefract Collieries return to winning ways

Pontefract Collieries scorer Eli Hey.
Pontefract Collieries scorer Eli Hey.

After three straight defeats Pontefract Collieries returned to winning ways with an impressive display and a much needed clean sheet in a 2-0 success at home to Stocksbridge Park Steels in the Evo-Stik League’s East Division.

Mikey Dunn gave Colls a flying start with a goal in the first five minutes and they defended the lead well to prevent their former prolific scorer Aaron Moxam from getting on the scoresheet for Stocksbridge.

Moxam moved to the Sheffield club in the summer after his goals in the latter part of last season played a big part in securing Ponte their promotion and the NCE League title. But it was no happy return for him as the home team made it three wins from five games in their new league.

On a wet afternoon at the G&R Construction Stadium a Colls team showing two changes with Fabian Bailey and Spencer Clarke back in went straight at their opponents.

They were ahead in the fifth minute with Dunn producing a clever chip over the Steels keeper after getting on the end of a fine flowing move and a through ball by Tom Dugdale.

The visitors missed a chance when sending a header over from a corner, but Dunn came close at the other end with Ponte looking dangerous.

Both sides struggled for a spell in the conditions although keeper Ryan Musselwhite came to Colls’ rescue with an excellent stop to keep them ahead at half-time as he saved with his legs after Moxam had been put through with just the keeper to beat.

Early in the second half Eli Hey had the ball in the back of the net only to see his effort ruled out for offside. The visitors were then off target to waste a glorious opportunity.

Hey came close with a header that went just over following a good move that showed what Ponte were capable of.

They doubled their lead on 80 minutes with a powerful strike by Hey from distance that gave the Steels keeper no chance as it rocketed into the top corner of the net.

Rather than sit on their lead Colls went looking for more in the closing stages and almost had it when it took a great save from the visitors’ keeper to deny Hey a second goal his display had deserved after he ran onto Scott Brown’s through ball into the box.

Another chance followed as the game went into injury-time, but substitute Aleks Starcenko was unlucky to be denied following a good run into the area.

It was a strong second half display from Ponte once they had come to terms with the weather and they could have won by more than their two-goal margin.

The victory lifted Collieries up to sixth in the table after the weekend’s matches with nine points from their first five games since promotion to the Evo-Stik League.

Pontefract are back in league action this Saturday when they travel to play Brighouse Town.

After a brilliant first month in the new season striker Eli Hey has won the Collieries’ August player of the month award, sponsored by Bowland Brewery.