Next round awaits United
Ossett United moved into the second round of the Integro League Cup as two late goals earned them the win at Pontefract Collieries.
There was little to choose between the sides for much of the contest on Tuesday night until Tom Greaves and Elliott Harrison struck in the final 10 minutes to give Ossett the win.
For United it was the perfect response following a 6-1 defeat at the weekend, and manager Wayne Been praised his side.
“It’s a great reaction. Going to Pontefract isn’t great and you’ve got to dig deep and be professional. You’ve got to defend well because they’ve got good attacking players,” he said.
“The first half (Pontefract) maybe edged in terms of chances but some of our play was good. In the second half I don’t think there was any doubt that we were by far the better side and deserved to win 2-0. The work rate was fantastic and defensively we looked strong.
“Players are getting a little more confident, they’re getting fitter, they’re understanding what we want from them. The togetherness, the spirit, the work rate was fantastic, and it has to be against teams like this.”
Both sides had chances in an exciting opening quarter of the game. Ossett goalkeeper Brett Souter was forced into action for the first time in the second minute to deny Bradley Dockerty, before Nick Guest fired over the bar at the other end.
Pontefract came as close as they would all game when Joe Lumsden headed against the post after a cut-back from Jack Greenhough. Souter then got down well to keep out Vaughan Redford after another bright move.
Towards the end of the first half Ponte stepped things up again. After having an effort ruled out for offside, Redford curled just past the post on the counter and Dockerty sliced wide after getting in behind.
After a scrappy start to the second half, Ossett thought they had taken the lead when defender Dylan Cogill put the ball in the net, but the assistant’s flag ruled it out.
United were emerging as the better side but they continued to be frustrated until the opening goal finally came with 10 minutes to go. A free kick from the left was only punched by Ponte goalkeeper Sebastian Malkowski to the edge of the area, where Greaves was waiting to scuff a volley along the floor and into the corner.
Then frustration kicked in for the hosts as Michael Dunn flew into a late, reckless and unnecessary challenge which wiped out Ross Hardaker and earned the substitute a straight red card.
With the extra man, Ossett sealed the win. Straight from the free kick for that foul, the ball was sent downfield, Marko Basic came inside and chipped the ball over for Harrison to finish.
United will host Brighouse Town in the next round this Tuesday (December 10, kick-off 7.45pm), but face league action first as leaders Workington come to Ingfield on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Pontefract: Malkowski, Greenhough, Smythe, Cromack, Ible, Picton, Rothery (Dunn, 64) Williams (Clarke, 84), Lumsden, Redford, Dockerty (Bailey, 77).
Subs: Bailey, Jeffs, Cyrus, Clarke, Dunn.
Ossett: Souter, Maltby (Gregory, 76), Hardaker, Stockdill, Knowles, Cogill, Guest, Harrison, Greaves (McQuade, 84), Basic, Haswell.
Subs: Gregory, McQuade, Youell
Goals: Greaves (80), Harrison (87)
Man of the Match: Elliott Harrison