TITLE-CHASERS Pontefract Collieries suffered only their third defeat this season in the NCEL Premier Division when they went down 2-1 at Garforth Town on Saturday.
Collieries created numerous chances, especially in the first-half, but they were foiled by home goalkeeper Pete Lawrie who was in outstanding form.
Eli Hey’s penalty put Pontefract ahead early in the second-half but Garforth snatched victory with goals from ex-Colls strike Mark Simpson and Calum Ward.
The visitors dominated the first-half but were unable to find their scoring touch.
Hey and Mikey Dunn had shots saved and Garforth had several lucky escapes.
Pontefract took a deserved 50th minute lead with Hey’s penalty, awarded for handball, but Garforth equalised just two minutes later with Simpson’s well-taken effort.
After that, both teams threw caution to the wind in an attempt to find a winner.
Lawrie’s superb display continued to frustrate Collieries while Garforth’s Simpson missed an easy chance to score his second goal from a rebound after Pontefract goalie Ryan Musselwhite made a save.
Garforth went close again when Ward’s thunderbolt free-kick was brilliantly saved by Musselwhite. With 20 minutes left, Town scored what proved to be the winner when Ward surged into the penalty box and lifted the ball over Musselwhite into the net.
Garforth survived Pontefract’s late onslaught to cling onto their lead.
The teams meet again in the return fixture at Pontefract this Saturday.
Hemsworth Miners Welfare crashed to a 5-1 home defeat against Premier Division leaders AFC Mansfield.
Goals from Phil Buxton and ex-Hemsworth striker Nick Guest put Mansfield 2-0 up within 14 minutes.
Welfare’s Nash Connolly pulled one back in the 17th minute but Guest then scored his second to make it 3-1 at the break.
Second-half goals from Oliver Fearon and Matthew Plummer completed Mansfield’s win.
Hemsworth will hope for better luck when they visit Mansfield this Saturday.