Ten-man Pontefract Collieries edged out at Worksop

Despite showing signs of improvement Pontefract Collieries have now gone six games since they last tasted victory in the pitching In Northern Premier League East.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 9:00 am
Brighouse Town's Javelle Clarke takes on Pontefract Collieries defenders Jack Greenough and Spencer Clarke. Picture: Steve Ambler

Craig Rouse' s men ended their run of losses when they brought back a point from a 1-1 draw at Brighouse Town last Saturday, but were on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat at Worksop Town on Tuesday night.

Although they gave as good as they got against a side managed by former Ponte boss Craig Parry it was Steven McDonnell's 43rd minute goal that divided the teams and sent Colls back up the A1 disappointed.

Ponte had new signing Joao Rangel from Gainsborough Trinity on the bench and were competitive in an even first half that had a sting in its tail with McDonnell netting just before the break after he followed up in a scramble after keeper Ryan Musselwhite had made several saves.

Vaughan Redford went closest to scoring for the visitors with a shot that went just the wrong side of the post.

A strong start to the second half by the hosts saw Zayn Hakeem run through only to hit a shot narrowly wide.

They found it hard to break down Ponte's defence, but only a superb Musselwhite save denied James Baxendale, one of several former Pontefract players in the Worksop squad.

Colls hung in, but their chances of a comeback were not helped when they went down to 10 men with Jack Vann red carded in the 74th minute for an alleged stamp.

The result remained in the balance until the final whistle, but the home team saw out the closing stages successfully to earn the points.

Ponte did bring back a point from Brighouse as they produced a battling display after being reduced to 10 men in the second half.

In the opening 45 minutes the final ball let them down with Mikey Dunn and Jack Lazenby going closest to scoring with shots that failed to hit the target.

An early second half improvement saw Redford set up Eli Hey, whose shot was deflected into the keeper's arms.

But it was Brighouse who opened the scoring as Thomas Haigh headed home from close in.

Ponte did not let their heads drop and equalised on 63 minutes when Hey's cross was headed home by Redford.

They then found themselves a man down as Jimmy Williams was accused of throwing a punch and red carded after he had become involved in an argument between teammate Jack Lazenby and a Brighouse man that started when the home player made a high challenge.

Brighouse looked to take advantage of their numerical advantage and missed a couple of decent chances, but Colls also attacked with Lazenby and Derry Robson both going close.

A draw was the result and appeared fair reward for Pontefract's efforts.

The players earned the praise of manager Rouse, who said: "It was really good performance.

"I thought we controlled the first half and we played at our tempo.

"It was a strong wind and it was backs to the wall at certain points, but I thought we created some good opportunities.

"In the second half we conceded a sloppy goal and it's a great reaction from our boys to peg them back and then to go down to 10 men with still 25 minutes to play it's a big tick in the box because it's a side we hadn't shown this season - a lot of bottle, a lot of fight and togetherness. It's a pleasing point really."

Pontefract now get back to the FA Cup with their bid to reach the third qualifying round for the first time in a tie at Squires Gate this Saturday.