Controversy reigned as ten-man Teversal sank to a 5-2 defeat against title-chasing Pontefract Collieries in Division One of the Northern Counties East League.
Striker Dave Cockerill was sent off as early as the 22nd minute in a match that was hardly the ideal preparation for Teversal’s big Notts FA Senior County Cup semi-final at Carlton Town tonight (Wednesday).
The dismissal came only five minutes after Cockerill had received a harsh yellow card when sliding in to try and cash in on uncertainty between Pontefract ‘keeper Ben Seynor and defender Jimmy Williams.
This time, he clashed with home manager Craig Parry in the Pontefract dugout as he tried to take a quick throw-in. Parry grabbed Cockerill round the chest and after the Teversal man had shrugged him off, both received their marching orders.
Within seven minutes, the home team not only had a numerical advantage in players but on the scoreboard too as they took the lead when a free-kick fell to Chris Jackson, who finished clinically.
And just four minutes later, it was 2-0 when Jackson’s initial effort was well saved by Josh Turton, only for the home striker to pounce again and pull the ball back from the byline for Chris Wood to head into an empty net.
As Pontefract continued to make the extra man pay, they added a third goal 14 minutes into the second half as Kane Reece finished with aplomb, curling an 18-yard effort out of the reach of Turton.
However, at least Teversal showed plenty of spirit, which was rewarded with two goals inside five minutes to make a game of it. First debutant Brad Newby, within three minutes of going on as a substitute, weaved one way and another before being brought down by Williams for a penalty that Kurt Bamford stepped up confidently to convert, sending Seynor the wrong way. And then Bamford held on to a through ball from Newby before firing home a fine, low drive from the edge of the box.
Any hopes they had of staging a miraculous fightback were dashed, though, when Pontefract stormed back with a couple of goals of their own in the last six minutes. First, defender Tom Laister was left short by a Sean Dickinson pass and was robbed of possession in a 50/50 challenge with Jackson, who broke clear. Again Turton did well to force him wide, but the frontman still managed to cross and give substitute Michael Dunn a tap-in.
Pontefract’s fifth goal was arguably the best of the day as the impressive Jack Greenough crossed to the far post where Jackson planted a terrific header to complete the scoring.
The win extended the Yorkshire side’s unbeaten record at home to 16 matches and took them to the top of the table by a point from AFC Emley with a game in hand. They looked worthy leaders, but Teversal left with their heads high and frustrated at what might have been had the game panned out differently and they had been able to play 90 minutes with 11 against 11.
TEVERSAL LINE-UP -- Turton/ Short, Moody, Laister, Gregory, Watson (Clarke 73), Sargent (Bacon 73), Bamford, Cockerill, Radford (Newby 67), Dickinson. SUBS NOT USED: Vincent, Short.