Six of the best allows Ponte Colls to keep pressure on leaders

Pontefract Collieries left-back Luke Jeffs blocks a cross in the game against Hall Road Rangers.

Pontefract Collieries found themselves in a battle, but came through 3-2 at home to Hall Road Rangers to make it six straight wins in the Toolstation NCE Premier League.

Ponte began well and created plenty of chances in the opening half, hitting the post early on before going ahead on 16 minutes when Aaron Moxam netted from a corner.

Two minutes later it was 2-0 as another set piece move paid off for Colls with right-back Jack Greenhough netting his 11th goal of the season.

Rangers stemmed the tide for the rest of the half, although they did occasionally ride their luck with the hosts seeing chances going begging.

The visitors pulled a goal back in the 41st minute through a great strike by Danny Norton and it was Ponte’s turn to breathe a sigh of relief as they stayed ahead at the break thanks to Ryan Musselwhite’s save from a Josh Batty effort.

After being pleased to still be in the game, Hall Road grew in confidence in the second half.

Colls stretched their lead, however, just past the hour mark when awarded a penalty, which Moxam put away for his second of the game and fifth goal since coming back to Ponte.

Rangers kept going and made it 3-2 as Josh Batty ran in on goal before calmly slotting home.

Ponte now had to dig in to protect their lead, but stood strong at the back with the closest the visitors coming to an equaliser being with a long range strike from Jack Binns, well saved by Musselwhite.

Colls assistant manager Craig Rouse admitted he was relieved to have taken all three points.

He said: “We knew it’d be a battle and possibly a high scoring game and we were proved right.

“They put us under a lot of pressure through the second half and it was pleasing to see us stand strong when we had to.

“The frustrating thing from our perspective is we should have been out of sight by the time they reduced the scoreline to 2-1. We were wasteful in the final third – which isn’t like us – and we wasted opportunities to kill the game off, which gave Hall Road an opportunity to get back into the game.”

Colls were left frustrated at yet another postponement on Tuesday night when they were due to host Garforth Town. The game will now be played on Tuesday, April 17.

Weather permitting, Pontefract now face a crunch match in their bid to top the table as they travel to play leaders AFC Mansfield this Saturday.

Mansfield have won 11 of their last 13 matches and go into this weekend’s big clash with a 10-point advantage over Handsworth Parramore and a 13-point lead over Collieries, who do have seven games in hand.

Ponte are also in action next Wednesday when they are away to 14th-placed Albion Sports.

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