Smythe nets winner to lift Ponte Colls into top three

Connor Smythe
Connor Smythe

A strong defensive display helped Pontefract Collieries to climb to third place in the Evo-Stik League’s East Division as they won a hard fought game at Brighouse Town.

Connor Smythe’s 72nd minute winner proved the only goal in a 1-0 success for Craig Parry’s men, who have responded well to a run of three defeats when they conceded 11 goals.

Back to back clean sheets have followed as Colls backed up their 2-0 victory over Stocksbridge Park Steels with their latest league success.

An even contest remained goalless at the break. Mikey Dunn fired a shot over, but other clear cut opportunities were hard to come by for both sides.

Colls came out firing for the second half as within two minutes Tom Dugdale saw a shot tipped over.

They went on to take charge for much of the rest of the game, creating more chances with Eli Hey through only to fire over and Dugdale heading an opportunity over. Brighouse’s defence was finally breached on 72 minutes when Smythe got on the end of Aleks Starcenko’s ball into the box to find the back of the net.

Colls kept pressing, but could not add to their lead. They remained strong at the back, however, with Spencer Clarke outstanding, and were deserving winners.

In a busy week for Ponte they were quickly back in action on Tuesday night away to Farsley Celtic in a first round Integro League Cup tie.

A tough tie was expected against opponents from a higher division and that is what Colls got as they went down 4-0.

It was goalless at half-time with Ponte going closest through Jack Greenhough and Spencer Clarke. But after the break Isaac Baldwin broke the deadlock for Farsley on 63 minutes and they went on to add to their lead though Ben Atkinson (two) and Matthias Britton in added time.

Saturday sees Pontefract hoping for a bumper crowd in league action again at home to Tadcaster Albion (3pm). Another East Division game follows next Tuesday, away to Stocksbridge Park Steels (7.45pm).