Pontefract Collieries crashed out of two cup competitions in the space of four days following defeats to Shirebrook Town and Winsford United.
Shirebrook travelled to Pontefract last Wednesday night for an NCE League Cup tie with the Colls and took the spoils, coming from behind at half-time to win 3-1.
Both sides rested key players and gave competitive match practice to fringe and under 19s players. But on the night it was the Shirebrook squad that proved to have the strength in depth.
With the first team keeper Craig Parry still on the injury list and no first team back up since Ben Saynor moved to Shaw Lane the Colls had to call up their under 19s keeper to the first team squad. A reshuffled defence, midfield and forward line also as a result of injuries meant that they were without eight key players. Despite that they took the game to Shirebrook and took the lead on 37 minutes as a quick short corner by Tom Robinson to Andy Catton eventually found its way to Josh Corbett who hammered the ball into the goal through a sea of legs.
Ponte pressed forward again with Kingsley Wetherald firing just wide.
The half-time team talks by the managers clearly worked better in the Shirebrook changing room. They came at Ponte right from the whistle and on 52 minutes some sloppy defending with no-one taking responsibility saw Simon Johnson level the score.
Both teams pressed hard for a winner, but it was Shirebrook that found a way through as Danny Wiltshire netted. They then made sure of their victory in the 90th minute when Matthew Thompson netted.
On Saturday Ponte made the long journey across the Pennines to the home of NWC Premier Division side Winsford United for their FA Vase second qualifying round tie and came away empty handed from a 3-0 defeat.
They played better than the score suggested as the Winsford keeper put in an incredible performance to keep them out and won the MOM.
Colls were still below strength with Nathan Perks playing in goal, Kamara in for the suspended Leister in midfield and winger Andy Catton unavailable. It showed early on as the hosts went in front on 13 minutes through the unmarked Dale Jennings.
There was nothing to choose between the two sides for the rest of the half and Ponte got on top early in the second. But despite shot after shot the Winsford defence managed to get bodies in the way and had a keeper on top form, pulling off numerous top drawer saves.
Colls got caught on the break as Andy Hurst made it 2-0 and this knocked the stuffing out of the visitors, who conceded again on 83 minutes, Jennings adding his second.
Ponte are back in the league this Saturday at home to high flying Eccleshill United (3pm) and they host Knaresborough Town in a West Riding County Cup first round tie next Tuesday (7.45pm).