Quickfire Rouse helps Pontefract Collieries hit top spot

Liam Radford, who failed to put away a penalty for Pontefract Collieries, but his side went on to win 8-0.
Liam Radford, who failed to put away a penalty for Pontefract Collieries, but his side went on to win 8-0.

Pontefract Collieries moved to the top of Division One of the Toolstation NCE League with an emphatic 8-0 away win at Dronfield Town.

Aaron Moxam led the way with four goals while Craig Rouse came up with the season’s quickest hat-trick as he bagged three goals in four minutes as Colls took the chance to improve their goal difference, which could still prove crucial come the end of the campaign in such a tight promotion race.

Ponte travelled knowing this was their chance to hit the top spot with the other four teams in the top five playing each other and results went their way with previous leaders AFC Emley drawing 1-1 with AFC Mansfield and Hemsworth Welfare beating Clipstone 2-1.

Saturday’s game was in doubt before kick-off with Dronfield having had major issues with their pitch this season and although an inspection was passed conditions on one of the wings were far from good with the linesman spending all game running through standing water.

Both sides struggled with conditions early on, but Ponte exerted some pressure and were awarded a penalty when Moxam turned sharply in the box and drew a clumsy challenge. However, Liam Radford put the ball too close to the Dronfield keeper who saved the spot-kick.

It took 30 minutes for Ponte to break the deadlock when Moxam put the ball beyond the Dronfield keeper.

But within six minutes they had a second as a quick exchange of passes and a quality cross from the left was headed home by Mark Whitehouse at the far post.

Another effort was disallowed for offside and it remained 2-0 to half-time.

The second half started with Colls going at the shaky Dronfield defence and within four minutes Moxam raced clear to smash the ball past the Dronfield keeper from a seemingly impossible angle.

Two minutes later another clumsy challenge in the box saw Colls awarded a second penalty and the Dronfield right-back receive his marching orders for a second yellow. This time Moxam made no mistake from the spot to complete his hat-trick.

At 4-0 and with an extra man Ponte went for more as Rouse made a spectacular entrance off the bench after coming on for Whitehouse.

Moxam drew another penalty for a clumsy challenge on 81 minutes and, under instructions from the bench, Rouse smashed the spot-kick into the Dronfield net.

That goal fired Rouse up and within four minutes he bagged another two goals after racing clear to hit the back of the Dronfield net to complete his quickfire hat-trick.

Moxam was in no mood to share the match ball, though, and almost on the stroke of full-time he lobbed the advancing Dronfield keeper to take his tally to four for the game and make it eight without reply for Ponte.

After the weekend’s games Colls went two points clear at the top of the league and they have now scored 40 goals in their last 10 games, with a reply of just four.

The prolific Moxam has proved a key acquisition as he has contributed 13 goals in the 11 games since he joined the club.

Next up Yorkshire Amateur travel to Pontefract this Saturday (kick-off 3pm) with the Colls looking to avenge their narrow defeat earlier in the season against the Leeds outfit.

Colls then face two huge games when they take on promotion rivals Clipstone at home next Wednesday (7.45pm) and travel to play AFC Emley the following Saturday (3pm).