The first of the season’s big derbies in the Premier Division of the Toolstation NCE League took place at the Harratts Nissan Stadium on Tuesday night with promoted Pontefract Collieries up against early leaders Hemsworth MW.
Ponte were looking to bounce back after suffering a first defeat of the campaign with a narrow 1-0 loss to Pickering Town last Saturday while their visitors were riding the crest of a wave after a fantastic start saw them follow up a 7-2 win at Clipstone with a 3-0 home success against Barton Town to become the early leaders.
It was Colls who were celebrating at the end despite being reduced to 10 men for the last 13 minutes after Mickey Dunn was sent-off for the second time in four days.
They were one up by then after Vaughan Redford took advantage of a rare Hemsworth defensive error to net the only goal of the game on 67 minutes.
Ponte were frustrated in the first half as visiting keeper Danny Rusling made a brilliant early save and also kept out a penalty.
Despite both teams’ encouraging start to the season there was a lack of goalmouth action as they cancelled each other out at times and both teams defended well.
Hemsworth MW enjoyed a convincing 3-0 win in their first home game of the 2017-18 season at the newly named Yorkshire NuBuilds Stadium despite manager Wayne Benn believing they were not at their best.
Benn reckoned his team’s play lacked some sharpness, but they were never really in danger of letting the lead slip once Richard Collier bagged the opening goal on 34 minutes.
An improved display after the break saw Sam Jones make it four goals in two games with an effort in the 47th minute.
Lloyd Henderson then made it 3-0 seven minutes later and Wells saw out the remainder of the game in comfortable fashion.
This Saturday they are away to Garforth Town (3pm), who beat Clipstone 6-0 last weekend, and the busy first month continues with a home game against Hall Road Rangers next Tuesday (7.45pm).