New boy on target as Ponte Colls stay top

Pontefract Collieries' Josh Corbett takes the ball down the wing against Yorkshire Amateur.
Pontefract Collieries' Josh Corbett takes the ball down the wing against Yorkshire Amateur.

Pontefract Collieries made it nine wins and two draws from their last 11 games as they held onto top spot in Division One of the Toolstation NCE League with a 2-0 home victory over Yorkshire Amateur.

Two flashes of skill and a goal in each half from Aaron Moxam and new signing George Conway saw Colls avenge an early season 2-1 defeat away to the Leeds side and kept them two points clear of AFC Emley at the top of the table.

New signings Lee Bennett and Conway were on the bench as managers Duncan Bray and Nick Handley stuck with their usual plan of not changing a winning side.

Early exchanges were even before Colls broke the deadlock on 23 minutes as skipper Nigel Danby’s free-kick found Moxam, who controlled the ball and almost in a single move rolled his defender to the right and spun to crash the ball into the net for his 14th goal in 12 games for the club.

Ammas refused to give in and battled to get back into the game with the Heard brothers providing their usual threat up front. Like Rossington’s Lee Holmes a couple of weeks ago, though, top scorer Carl Heard found Danby in top form and he was unable to carve out many chances.

Ponte keeper Craig Parry was forced to pull off several top class saves, however, and had probably his busiest game in a few weeks.

Colls had to make a change midway through the first half as wide man Mark Whitehouse took a heavy challenge and was unable to continue. That gave Conway a chance to make his debut as a direct replacement.

Early in the second half a heavy challenge on Luke Forgione by the Ammas number nine saw him pick up his second yellow card, which earned him an early bath. But even with an extra man Ponte were still made to work hard.

However, they came up with a second goal on 71 minutes when the Ammas keeper raced out of his area to clear the ball with his head to prevent Liam Radford and Moxam combining in front of goal. Unfortunately for him his header was only strong enough to find new boy Conway who lobbed the ball up and over the keeper into the open net to score a debut goal.

Colls face a massive game this Saturday when they travel to play long time leaders AFC Emley (kick-off 3pm).

The two teams played out a goalless draw at Ponte in January, but goals are expected in a game between two free scoring sides who are averaging well over two goals a match.

Ponte are also in action next Wednesday when they host fifth-placed Shirebrook Town in another six-pointer against a side with who they drew earlier in the season. Kick-off is 7.45pm.

l Pontefract have moved to strengthen their squad for a promotion push with two key signings from NCE Premiership sides.

With 12 games to go managers Bray and Handley moved into the transfer market for attacking midfielders Lee Bennett, from Athersley Recreation, and George Conway, from Shaw Lane Aquaforce.

Bennett was once on the books of Barnsley and Lincoln City as a youngster and spent time with Friska Viljor, in Sweden’s Division Three. He was part of Glasshoughton Welfare’s promotion side and played for Ossett Town.

Conway is a former Huddersfield Town academy youngster and Workington AFC player.