FOOTBALL: Shirebrook Town 3-1 Pontefract Collieries

In the final home game of the season Shirebrook were without Sweeney, Ludlow, Guest, Meehan, Hackett and Edwards for the visit of Pontefract Collieries. Nevertheless manager Micky Taylor was still able to field a strong side as they looked to finish the season strongly.

The opening 20 minutes saw both sides battle for dominance, although Pontefract seemed more interested in dominating the Referee than their opponents. A fair deal of histrionics and moaning was the order of the day and it is no surprise that they finished the game with 6 bookings. In fact the only surprise was how they managed to keep 11 on the pitch.

Shirebrook’s first real chance came on 20 minutes, dean Rick sent clear only to miss-hit his shot wide for a goal kick. Shirebrook kept up the pressure and Lee Briggs and Luke Thomas both had headed efforts at goal.

Rick saw his low drive whistle past the post on 34 minutes.

The visitor’s took the lead against the run of play on 40 minutes. Ormsby advanced and delivered a ball into the box which Shirebrook failed to clear. In the scramble that took place James Hicks managed to stick out a leg to prod the ball home from close range.

The lead was short lived and when Pontefract gave away a free kick 35 yards out Steve McGurk played the ball to the far post where Thomas headed the ball back across goal. Too good a chance to miss for top goalscorer Julian Topliss who fired home from 6 yards.

Pontefract’s deluded sense of fair play came to the fore again when Hicks clearly fouled Frost when heading the ball down and with the play stopped Glen McGory fired the ball into an undefended net and the over the top protests started.

Danny McLane saw his effort go wide of the far post on 55 minutes, but the home side took the lead 3 minutes later. Another unnecessary free kick given away and when Rick’s 25 yard low drive was only parried by Simon Kemp in the visitors goal Luke Thomas was on hand to fire home from 5 yards.

Pontefract pushed on looking for an equaliser and Thomas superbly hooked a goal-bound Hicks effort clear of danger.

Shirebrook caught Pontefract napping in the final minutes and when the ball eventually dropped to McLane who volleyed home to secure the points for the home side.

Shirebrook’s attention now turns to Tuesday night and the Wilkinson Sword Trophy Final. With a full squad to choose from and an unbeaten 4 match run Shirebrook are brimming with confidence.

Shirebrook Town: Frost, Jenkinson, Briggs, Thomas, Pride, Short G, Naylor (Stubley 75), McLane, Rick (Short D 80), Topliss (Slawson 45), McGurk (c). Subs not used: Jackson and Drake.

Pontefract Collieries: Kemp, Robinson (Lyon 49), Edwards, Handley (captain), Lumley, McGrory S, Ramsay (Rollinson 75), Ormsby, Hicks, McGrory, Oldham (McDaid 75). Subs not used: Bray and Hill.