Pontefract Collieries set for home FA Cup replay after fightback earns draw
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Craig Rouse’s men are looking for a repeat of their FA Cup heroics 12 months ago and showed their determination to continue in the competition this year with a huge effort in their away game in Lancashire.
It was all looking to be going wrong for them when Jack Shepherd was sent-off and they went 2-0 down early in the second half, but goals from Gavin Allott and Jake Picton earned Colls a 2-2 draw.
Ponte will now host their Chorley opponents in a replay at the Hunters Stadium on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm.
“It was a game that for 45 minutes we were nowhere near and we rightly found ourselves behind at half-time,” said Ponte manager Rouse.
"It took a sloppy mistake from us, giving away a penalty, to spark us into life and then the last 25 minutes, half-an-hour it’s all us. But in all honesty we’re lucky to still be in the hat to take it back to ours on Tuesday.
"It’s a big trait to have, the ability to dig yourself out with a never say die attitude and once again we’ve managed to dig a result out. It’s good to do it, but we need to find a way to stop giving sloppy goals away and finding ourselves behind.
"it’s been hard to get that continuity going, but we’re still in the hat and we’ll take it.”
On prospects for the replay, Rouse added: “They are a bright, fit side who will start the game well. They will come on to you and they will want to win battles. I thought they were really bright out the blocks.
"It’s going to be an even game and if we’ve learned anything it’s that they are a good side, they get around the pitch and use the ball well. We’ve got to be able to match that if we are going to go through to the next round.”
There was an even start in the first meeting of the two sides, but Charnock took the lead in their 13th minute when Aaron Griffith netted from a corner.
Colls came within inches of equalising twice as Joe Lumsden hit the post and Gavin Rothery saw his effort bounce off the crossbar, but in a feisty finish to the first half several players were booked before Shepherd saw red after trying to clear over his shoulder and catching a Charnock player in the head.
Before the hosts could take full advantage of their extra man they were also reduced to 10 with Marcus Haydock sent-off.
They did double their lead on 54 minutes, however, when awarded a penalty that was put away by Carl Grimshaw.
Allott came off the bench to give Ponte a lifeline with a goal just after the hour mark. His initial header from Fabian Bailey’s cross was saved, but he followed up to score.
Another ball in by Bailey led to a second goal from the visitors with Picton heading home 10 minutes later.
Further Colls pressure could not bring them a winner and the two teams will now meet again on Tuesday night in West Yorkshire.
Due to the replay Ponte’s scheduled league match with Dunston has been postponed and will now be rearranged.