Craig Rouse pleased with Pontefract Collieries' ability to deal with quick turnaround
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After a tricky start to the NPL East campaign with two defeats Colls came back from Cleethorpes Town with a 1-0 win last Saturday and followed up with a resounding 4-0 success in their first West Yorkshire derby of the season at home to Ossett United on Monday.
Adam Priestley’s first goal of the season sealed the points on the east coast and he was on target twice against Ossett in the quick follow-up game, coming close to a hat-trick as he also hit the woodwork.
Summer signing from Brighouse Jack Boyle and Adam Haw, who has arrived this season from Guiseley, were also on target.
“We said it before the game that Saturday-Monday is a quick turnaround and it gives you the opportunity to either lose six points or gain six points quickly on the table and make sure you can put yourself in a good position,” said manager Rouse.
"That was always the aim. We went away to Cleethorpes, a tough place, and it was a real battle. We said that you would spot in 20 minutes in Monday’s game the team that have done things right and the teams that haven’t gone away and prepared right.
"You could see as soon as the game settled down the football we were playing, the willingness to run. It was a good overall performance.
"We have been guilty of flooding forward too often from the back four and trying to create too many numbers in wide areas, allowing our centre-halves to get done down the sides.
"We made a conscious decision to try and be a little bit more solid and we put people in there who are going to defend their lines right.
"It’s pleasing to get back to back clean sheets, but it’s only the beginning. We are only four games into the league season and we’ve got to keep putting those types of performances in."
Rouse reckoned Ponte could have beaten Ossett by more than the four-goal margin, but he was pleased with his team’s attacking.
He explained: “Priest (Adam Priestley) has gone through two or three times in the second half and he’s really unlucky, he hit them too well if anything.
"The scoreline could have been bigger, we had more good opportunities, but a derby day on the back of a game on Saturday, having to find the energy levels to do what we do we would have taken 4-0 all day long.
"It was a pleasing day and there was good support from everyone with the community getting behind us. We want to keep building the club and make sure we are doing things right and make sure the club is heading in the right direction. Days like this will only help that.”
Colls now face tough away tests in their next two league matches as they travel to Belper Town this Saturday then Stockton Town the week after.
"Both sides have recruited very well and are really good teams,” added Rouse.
"We’ll have to be fully at it against sides who are expected to do well, but they are the games you want. You find out where we are in terms of a measure, if we can be up there or whether we’ll be also rans.
"I do think we’ll be a team that grows into the season, but if we want to be in the mix these are the types of games you have to turn up in.”