Pontefract Collieries’ winning run ends in eight-goal FA Trophy thriller
Pontefract Collieries’ bid to reach the Buildbase FA Trophy second qualifying round for the first time was dashed in an exciting eight-goal tie at Runcorn Linnets on Tuesday night.
The game had been due to be played last Saturday, but a waterlogged pitch forced it to be put back a few days and it was the home team who won through 5-3.
The visitors played their part in a full blooded tie, but it was Runcorn who earned revenge for a defeat at Pontefract in the league earlier this month.
Colls included a new signing in their line-up with attacking midfielder James Baxendale handed a starting role in place of the suspended Mikey Dunn after joining the club from Grantham Town.
Baxendale lists Walsall, Mansfield Town and Kidderminster Harriers among some of his former clubs and looks like being a good addition to the Ponte ranks as they look for trophy success this season.
They went into the game on the back of five straight wins so were not lacking confidence, but it was the Linnets who struck first with Kurt Sherlock putting away a controversially awarded penalty in the 14th minute.
Within three minutes Colls were level as striker Joe Lumsden produced a smart finish following a corner.
Another corner led to Ponte going ahead with defender Spencer Clarke up from the back to head into the net.
They dominated the rest of the half only to concede just before the break when Thomas Owens netted.
Runcorn were ahead 11 minutes into the second period as Peter Wylie turned in a free-kick at the far post.
Again Ponte got on top, but were unable to turn their pressure into goals and the Linnets effectively sealed their place in the next round when Zachery Aley headed home a Wade cross three minutes from time.
They made it 5-2 in the 90th minute through Louis Corrigan and Colls’ third goal in injury-time was simply a consolation.
They will be looking to bounce back when returning to BetVictor North West action this Saturday at home to Trafford.