The Robins advanced to the Second Qualifying round thanks to goals from Regan Paterson, Connor Oliver and Brad Hird, which will see them host Runcorn Linnets at the Daren Persson Stadium on Saturday 24th September.
Before the game got underway a minute’s silence was impeccably observed in respect for the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by both sides and all in attendance.
It was Shields who started the brightest in the opening exchanges going on the offensive from the outset.
Connor Oliver picked out JJ Chrisp down the left, who was brought down for a freekick, whipped into Paul van Zandvliet who could only poke an effort over the top.
Shields continued to press for an opening goal, Regan Paterson picking out Stephen Forster, who’s cross picked out Paul van Zanvleit again, who’s header was deflected wide of the mark.
GOAL 16’ – Regan Paterson, 1-0
The break-through came when Paterson fired home after continued pressure from the Robins, winning possession back, Paul van Zandvliet fired an effort at Boyes’, who could only parry into the path of Paterson.
Pontefract ventured into the Robins’ half of the pitch and hit the woodwork, letting Shields know they were still in the contest.
Pontefract should have been level, the ball crossed in, Finlay Hodgson flying at full tilt to punch clear, only to pick out a Colls’ player who volleyed wide from close range.
Great interlinking play between David Robinson and Regan Paterson, gifted Robinson the opportunity to double the Robins’ advantage, only to scuff his effort towards goal.
Moments later, the ball fell to Robinson again, this time just outside the area, he tried an effort right footed, straight into Boyes’ arms.
Hodgson was called upon at the other end, with two cracking saves moments apart.
39’ RED CARD – Jake Picton
Pontefract were reduced to 10 men after an irrational reaction to a challenge by Paul van Zandvliet, the referee originally brandished a yellow card but after discussions with the nearside linesman, the card upgraded to a red and Picton was giving his marching orders.
Half time was upon us with Shields the dominant side, however, Pontefract showed glimpses of what they were capable of when they managed to get out of their own half.
Second half started the same as the first ended, Shields on top and looking to extend their lead.
Pontefract were given the chance to equalize when Myers was penalized for a soft challenge on the edge of the area, the resulting freekick, calmly dealt with by Hodgson.
Shields caught the Colls’ on the counter after Paul van Zandvleit, won back possession, played the ball to Connor Oliver who swung it over to Dan Turner, who cut back inside only to be dispossessed at the point of pulling the trigger.
Dan Turner was in amongst the action again, ball whipped in as he stretched to get a toe on it, unfortunately not enough.
Shields continued to attack and make the most of the extra man advantage.
A short corner routine, setup Robinson, who fired from distance to the wrong side of the post.
GOAL 65’ 1-1, Gavin Allott
Pontefract pulled back level, scrappy defending from the Robins and nobody able to get a foot on the ball to clear the lines, the ball fell to Allot who fired home.
GOAL 70’ 2-1, Connor Oliver
Great build up play from the Robins, presented the opportunity for Connor Oliver to restore the lead and he didn’t need to be asked twice as he kept his cool, to dink the ball past the out-rushing Boyes’.
In the 77th minute, Shields were presented the opportunity to settle the tie, when Paul van Zandlviet beat the offside trap and beat the Boyes’ to the ball to be taken out inside the area. Connor Oliver stepped up and fired the spot kick over the top.
This brought Pontefract to life, knowing that a goal would draw them level and bring on a penalty shoot-out.
Tom Potter returned from injury replacing David Robinson.
The Robins lost the ball, deep in their own half presenting the Colls a golden chance only to see the cross miscued out for a goal kick.
Brad Hird came on for Dan Turner after a hardworking performance.
Anth Myers went down under a challenge and was replaced by Tom Bexton with the final minutes plus stoppage to play.
The referee indicated six added minutes.
In the 90th minute, Pontefract turned up the intensity in search of an equalizer and they almost did, working the ball into the box, the ball played across the six yard only for Stephen Forster to intervene with a last ditch clearance.
Moments later it was four against two in favor of the Colls’ after Shields lost possession, the chipped effort clearing both Hodsgon and thankfully the crossbar.
GOAL 90+6’ 3-1, Brad Hird
Shields countered as gaps opened in the Colls’ defense in their search of a leveler, Brad Hird drove into the penalty area before unleashing a powerful right footed drive into the bottom corner to settle the tie and put Shields into the next round.
Man of the match was awarded to Anth Myers for yet another commanding performance at the heart of the Robins defense.
As mentioned earlier, Marc Nash and his men will play hosts to Runcorn Linnets in the next round, to be played Saturday 24th September.
The coming Saturday, the Robins change their focus back to league action as the host Grantham Town, who make their longest trip of the league campaign to the Daren Persson Stadium.