Pontefract Collieries saw their promotion chances hit when they suffered a second defeat in just 10 days against Louth Town.
After losing 3-1 at home to the Lincolnshire outfit late last month Colls travelled looking for swift revenge on Saturday, but came home empty handed as they lost 4-2.
Their chances of winning were not helped when Liam Radford saw his first half penalty saved, but they were effectively made to pay for an uncharacteristic poor start when they conceded three goals in the first 21 minutes.
The first of the goals came on 16 minutes when Danny Kilmore blasted home after Andy Appleby’s free-kick had been flicked on.
Two minutes later Steve Norton made it two after being picked out by Jamie Coulson.
Ponte’s defence failed to settle and they conceded again as Coulson squared for Norton to score again and make it three goals in five minutes.
After their nightmare start Colls finally came into the game with a free-kick from 25 yards going close. At the other end Coulson crossed for Kilmore to volley narrowly over.
The visitors looked to have been given a lifeline just past the half-hour mark as winger Andy Catton was brought down by goalkeeper Scott Drury, who was booked.
But Drury made amends for his team when he made a fine save at full stretch to keep out Radford’s spot kick.
Colls remained 3-0 down at half-time and were left with a mountain to climb after the break.
They looked to have benefited from their team talk, however, as they improved in the second period and soon had another spot kick when Craig Lill brought down Radford in the area.
Craig Rouse stepped up this time and made no mistake, sending Drury the wrong way to make it 3-1 seven minutes into the second half.
Any hopes Ponte had of getting something from the game were dashed, however, on 69 minutes when Town restored their three-goal advantage. Danny Stevens delivered a free-kick into the box and skipper Carl Martin headed the ball across goal for Coulson to volley into the roof of the net.
To their credit, Colls kept going and after Josh Corbett was denied by a fine save from Drury they were rewarded with a second goal as substitute Matthew Marsden netted with a neat lob over an onrushing keeper after racing onto Radford’s through ball.
They were left with 11 minutes to salvage a point, but could not add any more goals, although Drury was forced to make another good save to deny Radford, who then fired the rebound into the side netting.
Radford also saw a close range effort well blocked and in added time Marsden was unfortunate to hit the post with a low drive from 20 yards.
In the end Ponte had another chances to have brought back at least a point, but they were left to curse that disastrous five-minute spell in the first half.
Pontefract were hoping to get back to winning ways tonight when due to play AFC Mansfield away.
This Saturday they are away again at Rossington Main, kick-off 3pm, with their opponents currently down in 17th place and Colls in fifth.
Glasshoughton Welfare’s vital bottom of table fixture against Nostell MW was called off last Saturday due to a frozen pitch and will be re- arranged by the league fixture secretary.
This Saturday Welfare, who remain at the bottom of the Toolstation NCE Premier Division, face a tough game when they travel to play third-placed Worksop Town, kick-off 3pm.
Welfare have another key game against fellow strugglers Liversedge at home on Saturday, December 20 and are at home at their Leeds Road ground again to mid-placed Humberside outfit Barton Town Old Boys on Saturday, December 27, with a return visit to Barton the following Saturday, January 3.
Glasshoughton have added to their squad with the signing of Ryan Mottley-Henry from Yorkshire Amateur. Daniel Barrett has left the club, however, joining Garforth Town.