Pontefract Collieries’ season continued to go from strength to strength as they equalled their best run in the FA Vase by reaching the second round last Saturday and followed up with a big league victory on Tuesday.
A 3-1 win over Litherland REMYCA in the national cup competition earned a trip to play fellow NCE Premier side Hall Road Rangers in the next round.
Litherland’s chances were not helped as they had two players sent-off following a scuffle while Ponte’s Scott Brown was also red carded.
The hosts were 2-0 up at this stage and already on course to their excellent victory over North West Counties League opponents.
Top scorer Eli Hey sent them on the way when he put away a penalty after 11 minutes. Vaughan Redford made it two on the half-hour as he seized on the ball in the area to hit home.
A melee just before half-time saw players from both sides confront each other and resulted in Litherland’s David Crist and Paul Foy being sent-off along with Ponte’s Brown.
When Hey scored his second goal and 15th of the season seven minutes into the second half it was effectively all over.
Joel Douglas did pull a goal back 10 minutes from time, but it proved to be only a consolation. It summed up Litherland’s day when their bus got stuck in the car park!
Pontefract were quickly back in action in the Premier Division of the Toolstation NCE League on Tuesday night when they were at home to AFC Mansfield and made it 14 straight victories in dramatic style.
Up against opponents still unbeaten in the league, they looked like having to settle for a point when Craig Mitchell scored a 90th minute equaliser for the visitors, but Glyn Cotton came up with an incredible winner deep into stoppage time with a free-kick from distance.
Cotton had also netted earlier while Andy Seed opened the scoring with a spectacular volley only for Mansfield to be level at half-time through Oliver Fearon, who was later sent-off. Ponte also had debutant Bruno Holden red carded in the incident packed injury-time.
Collieries have added three players to their squad, including attacking midfielder Kieran Scargill, who played against them for Ossett Albion in the West Riding County Cup last week and is a former Barnsley youth player.
Experienced forward Bruno Holden has also arrived from Evo-Stik League side Goole. He previously played for Lincoln United, Belper, Worksop Town and Handsworth Parramore.
Calum Stapleton, meanwhile, has rejoined the club. He was part of last year’s promotion winning squad and has joined from Worsbrough Bridge.
Youngster Connor Peace has left, however, to join Parkgate.
Colls face a big test this Saturday, at home to fourth-placed Handsworth Parramore.