Guest strikes late as Pontefract Collieries and Frickley Athletic share spoils in thrilling derby

Pontefract Collieries' ex-Frickley player Jake Picton looks to get to the ball first against his former club. Picture: James Heaton
Pontefract Collieries' ex-Frickley player Jake Picton looks to get to the ball first against his former club. Picture: James Heaton

An injury-time goal by super sub Nick Guest earned Pontefract Collieries a valuable point in a topsy-turvy local derby with Frickley Athletic in the Evo-Stik East Division.

Second-placed Colls looked on course for another victory in their promotion quest as they largely dominated the opening half and were good value for their 1-0 interval lead.

Pontefract Collieries players celebrate with Spencer Clarke, who opened the scoring against Frickley Athletic. Picture: James Heaton

Pontefract Collieries players celebrate with Spencer Clarke, who opened the scoring against Frickley Athletic. Picture: James Heaton

But Frickley, who began to get a foothold in the game late in the first half, stormed back to lead after the break and it was they in the end who could feel aggrieved at the 2-2 final result.

Off the back of four straight wins and with nine goals in their previous two games Ponte looked dangerous with every attack in the first half-hour and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 16th minute with Spencer Clarke heading home Gavin Rothery’s corner.

Already before then Mikey Dunn had gone close twice, Chris Jackson’s strike from distance was saved by new Frickley keeper Sam Wilson and Clarke’s shot was inches over.

Frickley were being rushed into mistakes and struggling to put any moves together. They breathed a sigh of relief soon after the opening goal as Rothery’s neat turn gave him space to shoot, but he fired over.

Spencer Clarke heads home the opening goal for Pontefract Collieries. Picture: James Heaton

Spencer Clarke heads home the opening goal for Pontefract Collieries. Picture: James Heaton

The visitors finally created a chance when Colls keeper Ryan Musselwhite came out a long way, but was unable to get to a dangerous free-kick into the box and Greg Young’s effort had to be cleared off the line by Connor Smythe.

A minute later Colls thought they had doubled their lead when Chris Jackson sent in a powerful header from a corner. Wilson did well to get his hand to the ball to tip it onto the underside of the crossbar and it appeared to possibly cross the line, but the officials ruled no goal.

It proved a turning point as Frickley gradually improved and had a chance to equalise with Jameel Ible poking the ball wide after Young’s flick on had set up the defender in the box.

Early in the second half it was 1-1 as out of the blue a fine strike by returning Frickley striker Luke Hinsley beat Musselwhite with the ball arrowing in on the bottom corner of the net.

Big save: Frickley goalkeeper Sam Wilson keeps out Chris Jackson's header in a big moment in the local derby at Pontefract Collieries. Picture: James Heaton

Big save: Frickley goalkeeper Sam Wilson keeps out Chris Jackson's header in a big moment in the local derby at Pontefract Collieries. Picture: James Heaton

Now it was the visitors looking the more dangerous side and after Ousman Cham’s cross-shot drifted just wide they made it 2-1 when midfielder Sam Liversidge seized onto a loose ball to fire home another great shot from outside the box.

Colls were looking rattled and were getting more yellow cards than efforts on goal. As they pushed forward for an equaliser they were caught on the break several times, but survived as Hinsley and Jacob Hazel, twice, hit shots off target.

Ponte had top scorer Eli Hey on the bench after suspension and he came on to bolster their attack. He sent a volley wide, but it looked like Frickley were going to take home the points until the late intervention by another of Colls’ subs, Guest, who nipped in to score a real striker's goal from close range after Hey’s initial effort was blocked.

There was still time for more drama and one more chance, but it fell for Frickley as they came forward for a set piece. But Jemson's shot went agonisingly wide and a draw was the result.

Nick Guest pounces to score a late equaliser for Pontefract Collieries.

Nick Guest pounces to score a late equaliser for Pontefract Collieries.

It was a fair outcome with both sides showing their qualities in a fiercely competitive local derby.

Sam Liversidge celebrates his goal for Frickley with teammates Tyler Walton and Jacob Hazel.

Sam Liversidge celebrates his goal for Frickley with teammates Tyler Walton and Jacob Hazel.

Frickley's Jamie McGuire challenges for the ball with Pontefract Collieries' Jack Greenhough.

Frickley's Jamie McGuire challenges for the ball with Pontefract Collieries' Jack Greenhough.

Jacob Hazel holds the ball up for Frickley Athletic.

Jacob Hazel holds the ball up for Frickley Athletic.

Sam Liversidge gets in the strike that put Frickley Athletic 2-1 ahead.

Sam Liversidge gets in the strike that put Frickley Athletic 2-1 ahead.