When Pontefract lost 14-3 at Halifax but technically ‘won’

FA Cup

Goalkeeper Ryan Musselwhite keeps Ponte’s dreams alive during the goal-less draw with FC Halifax Town.

Pontefract Collieries head to The Shay on Tuesday night for the biggest fight in the club’s history.

The stage is the FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay with FC Halifax Town and the Colls are hoping to cause a major upset and book a first round proper tie with Maidenhead United.

What they won’t take inspiration from is their last visit to The Shay back in November 2006.

Pontefract were beaten 14-3 by the old Halifax Town who were managed by a certain Chris Wilder.

The Colls did level it at 1-1 early on thanks to double goal-scorer Kevin Duckworth but after his strike the wheels came off against the higher league outfit.

Chris Coupe, who is still playing and turns out for West Yorkshire League side Robin Hood Athletic scored Ponte’s other goal.

The brutal damage was done by various goal-scorers.

Ex-Farsley Celtic striker Ryan Sugden scored four times and Chris Senior got a hat-trick.

Future Harrogate Town midfielder and ex-Tadcaster Albion midfielder Martin Foster hit two.

Shane Smeltz grabbed a brace

There was even a goal for Bradford City legend Wayne Jacobs.

But it was Simon Rawnsley who caused the memorable twist after appearing in the game and scoring in the 65th minute for Halifax.

It transpired Rawnsley had played for Bradford (Park Avenue) in the first round and scored in the 3-1 defeat of Yorkshire Amateur.

Halifax were booted out for fielding an ineligible player – the result erased from history – and Ponte were dramatically reinstated.

Ironically the Colls were drawn against Avenue in the next round and they beaten 2-1 in extra-time at Beechnut Lane after Non League legend Mark ‘Willy’ Wilson scored in the last minute (the video can be seen on Youtube).

Pontefract finished 12th in the NCEL Division One table that season and manager Roly Lanes had players such as Craig Elliott, Chris Shaw, John Forrest, Paul Eastwood and Mike Rossiter at his disposal.

Rossiter now works for Sky Sports. 

Boston United boss Elliott is the greatest Yorkshire-based Non League manager of the past decade.

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