Manager Rouse apologises as Pontefract Collieries' cup exploits appear to take their toll

Pontefract Collieries manager Craig Rouse.Pontefract Collieries manager Craig Rouse.
Pontefract Collieries manager Craig Rouse.
To say it was a case of “after the Lord Mayor’s show” was something of an understatement as Pontefract Collieries failed to follow up their heroics of the previous week in the FA Cup.

After battling so hard for 180 minutes against National League Halifax Town the return to the bread and butter stuff of the Pitching In Northern Premier League East did not go down so well as Colls were four down at half-time and went on to suffer a 5-1 hammering at home to Tadcaster Albion.

Maybe it was the exertions of the cup tie that played a big part in such a poor display, but it left manager Craig Rouse apologising to supporters afterwards.

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He said: “As the manager I take full responsibility for the result and apologise to any supporters who came to get behind the team.

“After a testing week it would be easy to put it down to fatigue and tired legs, in hindsight I maybe should have made changes.

“In defeat there’s no winning situation and if we’d made five or six changes and lost the game, people would then be asking why we’d disrupted a team that had performed so well in two games against Halifax.

“It’s our performance as a group and we won’t be hiding away from it, we’ll take the criticism on the chin, dust ourselves down and move forward together. The players still have my full backing and I believe this group will start to get us up the table.”

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On what happened in the game, Rouse added: “I thought we started the game fairly well and put Tadcaster under a spell of pressure without threatening the goal too much.

“The game swung on two penalty decisions, one for each team which both technical areas agreed the referee had got wrong.

“But I want to be clear in stating although it changed the course of the game we can do a lot better ourselves and we take full responsibility for the result. For the next 20 minutes of that half we showed a side to us that I haven’t seen at all this season and went into our shells, allowing the opposition too much time and space all over the pitch.”

Romario Vieira’s penalty on 29 minutes was the start of a calamitous period that saw Tadcaster score three more goals through Desmond Amponsah, Vieira again and Edward Church.

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In the second half Church netted again before Gavin Rothery claimed a consolation goal for Ponte with a fine long range strike.

Colls’ hectic spell continued on Tuesday night when they travelled to play Harrogate Railway Athletic in the West Riding County Cup.

The team showed a number of changes, but another disappointing result saw them go out 1-0.

The only goal came in otherwise uneventful first half as Harrogate were awarded a penalty, which was put away by Dan Thirkell on 38 minutes.

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An improved display after the break saw Colls battle to try to stay in the competition, but they were unable to find a breakthrough and there were no further goals.

After all their exertions in recent weeks Pontefract are probably pleased to be without a game this weekend so the players can recharge their batteries. Their next match is at Shildon on Saturday, November 6.