After testing themselves against higher ranked teams Pontefract Collieries were back in action against NCE League opposition as they took on local rivals Glasshoughton Welfare in their latest pre-season game on Tuesday night.
Although it was a friendly the bragging rights went to Colls as they won 5-1 to lift the Bill Cook Memorial Trophy.
Chris Jackson led the way with four goals while Vaughan Redford was also on target with Andy Horbury netting for Welfare, who competed well for the first hour and took the lead.
Ponte’s equaliser came from Jackson’s penalty after Mikey Dunn was fouled and they did not look back after Jackson’s second on 57 minutes.
Pontefract took on their Evo-Stik League near neighbours, Frickley Athletic, last Saturday and started superbly as they took the lead through Jackson.
But that was as good as it got for Colls as Frickley, who have enjoyed some big wins in pre-season, went on to record a 6-1 win with goals by Gavin Allott (two), Jacob Hazel, Steve Hopewell, Jameel Ible and ex-Ponte forward Mark Simpson.
Colls played another Evo-Stik League team in midweek when they were narrowly edged out 3-2 by Shaw Lane, Jackson and Eli Hey netting.
They continue their preparations with away games against Horbury Town on Saturday and Huddersfield YMCA next Monday before the season proper starts with an extra preliminary round FA Cup tie at home to Alsager Town on August 5.
Colls’ first NCE Premier game sees them host Staveley MW, on August 8, and they will be out to get off to a flyer with all of their first five league matches at home.
Colls have signed midfielder Grant Darley after he impressed in pre-season fixtures.
Glasshoughton showed promise in their 2-1 win over Evo-Stik League side Ossett Albion side last Thursday when goals came from Ashley Scothern and youngster Tom Coyles.
There was disappointment for some as the showman who draws the punters through the gate at Glasshoughton, Ryan Poskitt, was missing because of injury.
But they were able to cope without their talisman and produced a strong display. Apart from one brief scare, Welfare battled well and went ahead when Scothern’s low drive was deemed to have crossed the line.
Young Coyles, a Pontefract Collieries under 19s player last season, sweetly struck the second goal after the break.
Connor Glavin wasted an excellent chance to kill the game off and Fidel Mholo also missed the target when it looked easier to score before Ben Walker’s scorcher brought Albion back into it late-on – just a little too late for a comeback.
Further warm-ups are now planned at home to Coventry United this Saturday and away to Garforth Town next Tuesday.
They begin their NCE Division One campaign away to Selby Town on Saturday, August 5 and play their first home game the following Tuesday against Worsbrough Bridge Athletic.
Welfare have added several signings to their squad ahead of the new season, including the versatile Connor Rollinson who has rejoined from Worsbrough.
Young defender Josh Bucknall has joined from Hemsworth MW, while Pontefract Collieries under 21s player Coyles, former Nostell winger Fidel Mhlolo, ex-Liversedge and Nostell man Sam Pashley and Jake Thomson are also additions.
Retained players are Andy McManus, Ryan Poskitt, Jordan Bradshaw, Connor Glavin, Adam Walsh, Blaine Kellett, Gaz Hunter, Ashley Scothern, Andy Horbury, Callum Harrison, Sam Varley, Josh Morley, Alex Marsh and Lewis Akeister.