Pontefract Collieries stay on track for promotion after thrilling play-off win over Ossett United

Vaughan Redford, scored from the penalty spot for Pontefract Collieries against Ossett United. Picture: James Heaton
Vaughan Redford, scored from the penalty spot for Pontefract Collieries against Ossett United. Picture: James Heaton

Pontefract Collieries are one more win away from achieving their promotion aim from the Evo-Stik League’s East Division.

After finishing as runners-up in the league Colls have had to go through the play-offs route in order to go up and came through a nerve-racking one-off semi-final on Tuesday night.

They were up against West Yorkshire rivals Ossett United and went behind in the first half, but hit back to level and clinched a 3-1 victory with two goals in extra-time.

Ponte will now face another West Yorkshire side, Brighouse Town – who also won 3-1 in their semi-final against Sheffield FC – with the final taking place at Collieries’ G&R Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

It will be second against third with Brighouse having lost twice in the regular season to the Pontefract side, but only after pushing them close on each occasion.

Having won and drawn with Ossett in league fixtures, Colls were favourites going into Tuesday night’s play-off, but knew they would be in for a tough test as their previous meetings had both been close.

Ambitious Ossett include some good players in their ranks and one of them, Gibraltar international Adam Priestley, had the first chance only to be denied by home keeper Ryan Musselwhite.

The Ponte stopper made another save before the hosts had big shouts for a penalty waved away after Gavin Rothery went down.

Colls’ first chance came as Rothery put Vaughan Redford through, but it was Ossett keeper Brett Souter’s turn to excel.

United took the lead on 22 minutes as a long ball in behind saw Greaves race through to score. It stayed 1-0 to the break although Priestley went close twice for the visitors who also hit the crossbar.

Half chances came and went after the break for Colls before they were awarded a penalty and Redford kept his nerve to equalise on 69 minutes.

The tension was cranked up and neither side could find a winner in the 90 minutes with the game going into extra-time.

It was in the second half of extra-time that Ponte finally shook off their opponents with two goals. First, Mikey Dunn beat three men on a brilliant run before finding the net then Jamie Williams was on target four minutes from time.