Harrrogate Town 1-5 Pontefract
A youthful Harrogate Town side were eliminated from the West Riding County Cup on Monday night at the hands of Pontefract Collieries.
Three goals inside the opening quarter of an hour for the visitors demonstrated the difference between the teams and made it an uphill challenge for Town from the outset.
Lloyd Kerry did get his name on the score sheet after a 90 minute outing towards the end of the first half, but two more second half goals for the visitors sealed Town’s fate.
Josh Falkingham was able to name Louie Swain and Kerry in his starting line-up with the two both recently making returns from long term injury.
The duo could do nothing about Pontefract’s opener though as a deep corner was met at the far post after just seven minutes.
The visitors had a second three minutes later after stealing possession high up the pitch and squeezing the ball in at the near post.
The more senior team were running riot and claimed a third just 15 minutes in a low cross from the right back position saw Collieries’ attacker get to the ball ahead of Brad Swain to score.
Swain was in action later in the half preventing Pontefract from claiming a fourth by heading clear off the line.
Three minutes before the break Morgan Smith’s shot was parried into the path of Kerry who followed up on the shot to give Town a lifeline going into the second half.
Despite Town making a bright start to the contest and forcing a good save through Brad Swain, Ponte got their fourth six minutes after the break as Andy Higgins was narrowly beaten to the ball on the right wing allowing the visiting number nine to run towards goal unchallenged and slot past Powell.
Second half substitute Deven Hannah attempted to pull a goal back with a snapshot, but his attempt was just the wrong side if the post.
Pontefract’s fifth arrived with just over ten minutes left to play as a soft header back towards the ‘keeper saw Powell bring down the attacker and give away a spot kick that the visiting number nine coolly converted for his hat-trick.
Harrogate Town: Powell, B Swain, L Swain, Rollinson, Higgins, Brettell, Attakorah, Kerry, Willis, Smith, Riley