Ambers end the season in style
A 6-1 victory at Pontefract was the perfect end to a great season ...
Mick Godber named a strong side for the final away trip of the campaign, as The Ambers aimed to end their excellent season on a high, against opponents who needed nothing less than a victory to retain their Premier Division status. With this backdrop, neutrals may have thought that The Ambers would be ‘on the beach’, but nothing was further from the truth with the twin strike force of Jon Froggatt and Kieran Wells vying for the League’s Golden Boot.
After just three minutes, Danny Buttle provided the perfect cross for Froggatt to head home but the linesman’s flag ruled the strike offside, and for a while thereafter, The Ambers struggled to find their feet against robust opponents on an awful playing surface. That said, a cracking effort from stand in right back Richard Tootle crashed against the far post, but from the resultant break, Reece fired the home side ahead with a neat finish past Jake Lancini after evading a last ditch challenge by Gareth Griffiths.
Two minutes later, The Colls faithful were appealing for a penalty after a tumble in the box, and to be fair, it certainly looked worth a shout, but the referee was unmoved, and on such decisions do destinies change. Just three minutes later, Tootle and Simon Harrison cleverly opened up the defence for Wells to race through and slot home for the 39th time this season.
Danby then went close for Ponte but headed a good chance from a free kick straight into the arms of Lancini and it was then the turn of home keeper Corbett to excel as he palmed away a curling effort from Froggatt. The half ended with Griffiths just failing to meet a Harrison free kick at the far post.
The first fifteen minutes of the second half was very even with Colls pushing forward at every opportunity but The Ambers soaked up the pressure well and after a Froggatt shot was blocked at one end, a mad scramble ensued in The Ambers box before Lancini punched clear under pressure. A minute later, The Ambers took the lead when the ball was flicked on into the path of Harrison who finished in style to move into double figures for the season.
Alex Rippon and Danby then exchanged chances before Wells headed home a Buttle corner at the front post to take him on to 40 goals but Whitehouse almost reduced the arrears a minute later after a bit of pinball in The Ambers box, but his effort hit the post. Wells then sent Buttle away down the left and his pull back was duly despatched by Rippon to make the game safe and seal Pontefract’s fate.
The excellent Buttle and Wells were replaced by youngsters Harry Groombridge and Mitch Dunne, and with ten minutes remaining, Froggatt played in Harrison to net his second and The Ambers fifth of the night. Dunne then capitalised on a miskick by the home keeper who then fouled him in the area giving Froggatt the chance to net his 40th of the season from the spot, an event which brought a near naked Wells out from the changing room to watch. Despite a valiant effort by Corbett, the spot kick ended up in the net to round off proceedings.
And so, this memorable season ended on a high note with The Ambers running Champions Tadcaster close, and the front two sharing the Golden Boot with a magnificent 40 goals each. Credit though goes to the whole squad who, from day one, applied themselves to the task in front of them, and who will undoubtedly be prime candidates for promotion next season.