First-half goals enough for Louth victory over Pontefract

Louth Town manager Paul Walden.
Louth Town manager Paul Walden.

LOUTH Town earned their second win in a week with a comfortable 2-0 win over sixth-placed Pontefract Collieries at Park Avenue on Saturday.

An early strike from Steve Norton and Sam Smith’s goal before the break gave Paul Walden’s men a much-needed three points which fans will hope will finally kick-start their season.

Pontefract was the venue for Louth’s only league away win this season which came four weeks ago.

And in Saturday’s reverse fixture the White Wolves got off to the perfect start when Norton netted the opener. Louth keeper Craig Wherry’s clearance found Rowbotham who nodded the ball onto Norton, the striker calmly lifted the ball over the stranded goalkeeper and into the net.

The Colls almost found an immediate response when a deep free kick fell to defender Robinson, but his effort missed the target.

Norton had a chance to double Town’s lead moments later when he latched onto a goalkeeper fumble, but his shot flew wide.

It was the hosts who were dominating proceedings, knocking the ball around well and creating chances. Broughton’s free header was miscued before Jamie Rowbotham almost reached a weak backpass but the goalkeeper cleared

The home side doubled their lead on 27 minutes with a training ground move. Wood’s corner was skimmed low across the box for Sam Smith, who ran onto the pass and drilled the ball into the top corner, it was a wonderful effort.

As the first half wore on it was looking like Louth would add another. Smith rattled the crossbar from 25 yards before good work between Broughton and Rowbotham earned the latter a chance but his finish was saved.

The visitors began the second half in hurried fashion and began to enjoy some possession in Louth’s half. But the White Wolves were looking dangerous on the break, Norton’s back-heel found Rowbotham but his curler went just wide.

Moments later Pontefract had their best chance of the game so far. Lumley rose highest to meet a corner but his powerful header was always rising and Wherry was happy to watch it sail over the crossbar.

The visitors were piling on the pressure and pushed men forward in the hope of finding a lifeline. Redford found some time and space in Louth’s half but an excellent sliding challenge from Mark Fairburn saw to that.

Stand-in right back Fairburn was having a storming game in defence, and his run up the right flank deserved a goal but his strike flew wide of the far post.

Pontefract’s players and management were becoming increasing frustrated that things weren’t going their way, and were unhappy with some refereeing decisions.

But the final whistle came and Walden’s men had earned a solid three points.