Pontefract Collieries hunt more Emirates FA Cup glory this Saturday at Ashton United off the back of climbing the BetVictor NPL North West Division with a big away success last weekend.
Craig Parry’s men have now won their last four matches after they came back from Droylsden with a 4-1 victory.
They had to come from behind to achieve the latest success, but the manner of their performance will fill them with confidence as they look to reach the third qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time.
Victory would put them to within two more wins of the first round proper when the Football League teams enter the competition.
But to get there Colls must overcome opponents in Ashton who play in a division higher in the BetVictor NPL. They were in winning form as well last weekend as they beat Mickleover Sports 1-0.
Ponte had to overcome the early shock of going behind after only six minutes in their league game at Droylsden as Daniel Wilkins struck with a volley from outside the area.
Colls could have equalised almost straight from the restart with Sam Agar going close as he looked to make an impact on his Pontefract debut.
They pressed again with Vaughan Redford finding Gavin Rothery, but the attacking midfielder sliced his shot wide as he was closed down by advancing keeper Chris Thompson.
George West had a chance to add to the home side’s lead when he was through one-on-one with Seb Malkowski, but the Colls goalkeeper saved with his feet at the near post.
Ponte deservedly equalised just before half-time as their pressure was rewarded when Rothery found the bottom corner of the net.
The good work continued into the second half as striker Joe Lumsden had a chance straight away only to be denied by the feet of Thompson.
Defender John Cyrus headed over at the back post after he was found unmarked from the corner that followed and Droylsden were beginning to creak.
It was no surprise when Colls took the lead in the 48th minute as new boy Agar – who signed at the end of last week after previous spells at Halifax Town, Hinckley Town, Walsall Wood and Newark Flowserve – marked his debut with a flying header that sent the ball into the bottom corner of the net from Jack Greenhough’s cross.
Substitute Aaron Burns forced a good save from Malkowski, but as Droylsden pressed for an equaliser, gaps opened at the back.
Redford made it 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining and only a good save from Thompson denied Lumsden from close range as Ponte were beginning to run away with the game late on.
They did add a fourth goal in injury time when substitute Layton Swaine put away a rebound after Lumsden’s initial effort had been saved by Thompson.
The convincing victory lifted Pontefract up to eighth place and although they are seven points behind early leaders Workington – the only team to beat Colls so far this season – they have three games in hand.They return to league action next Tuesday when away to Mossley (7.45pm).
For Pontefract’s first-ever FA Cup second qualifying round tie the club is running a bus to Ashton, which will set off at 11am.
To secure a seat it is £10 a person and the club is looking for some big support as they aim to continue their journey in the famous competition. Anyone interested can contact Steve Parry on 07714447454.