Whitehouse at the double to boost Ponte Colls

Mark Whitehouse.
Mark Whitehouse.

After a blip in midweek Pontefract Collieries were swiftly back on the winning trail with a home success against a Penistone Church side that started just one place below them in fifth place in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League.

Colls were expecting a tough test, but came through it well on Saturday to record a 2-1 victory that keeps them on track for promotion.

The win, courtesy of two goals by Mark Whitehouse, kept Pontefract in fourth place in the table, eight points behind leaders AFC Emley with two games in hand and five points behind second-placed Clipstone with a game in hand on them.

Three points were crucial against Penistone and it was a real battle in the opening half with both defences doing well to keep a clean sheet until right on the stroke of half-time when Whitehouse came up with the first of his goals.

Penistone hit back after the break to level on 63 minutes through Alvin Riley.

But six minutes later Whitehouse struck again and Colls did not let the lead slip a second time as they saw the game out for their morale-boosting 2-1 victory.

In midweek Pontefract did not fare so well as they lost 3-1 at home to a Louth Town side that could still figure in the promotion race if they can put a run together.

After a goalless first half it seemed Ponte were set for more points when wide man Andy Catton fired them ahead seven minutes into the second half.

But three goals in four minutes totally transformed the game and allowed Louth to run out with a 3-1 victory.

First, Matt Kennedy caught the home defence napping to equalise on 69 minutes, then Lee Croft put the visitors ahead and Kennedy struck again to take the game out of Pontefract’s reach.

Collieries do not have to wait long for a chance to gain revenge on Louth Town as they play a quick return match this Saturday at Louth’s Park Avenue Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

The hosts are down in ninth place in the division, but are just four points behind Colls from one game more and have won their last three matches.

Pontefract are also in action again next Wednesday when they travel to play AFC Mansfield (kick-off 7.45pm) in another Toolstation NCE Division One game.

Another tricky contest looks on the cards with Mansfield in eighth place and offering a big attacking threat with 20 goals in their last seven matches.