THE FA Trophy looks like it could be a competition that is kind to Runcorn Linnets.

With progress in the FA Cup and FA Vase scarce in recent times, they have found this knockout competition to their liking this season.

Pontefract Collieries were beaten 5-3 at Millbank Stadium on Tuesday night as Linnets avenged a league defeat to the same opposition earlier this month.

Another home tie awaits them in the second qualifying round, with the winners of the replay between Prescot Cables and Pickering Town to visit next Saturday.

Despite starting without a recognised striker, it was Linnets who took the lead when the referee adjudged the visitors to have handled inside the area.

Once the Pontefract protests had died down, Kurt Sherlock dispatched the penalty.

Within 10 minutes however, the visitors had turned the game around with their strength at set-pieces to the fore as Joe Lumsden and Spencer Clarke goals put them ahead.

Runcorn struggled to regroup but Lady Luck was on their side as they went into the break level – Tom Owens’ shot posed no threat until it was deflected beyond a stricken Pontefract goalkeeper on the stroke of half time.

They made the most of their fortune as Pete Wylie gave them the lead on the hour mark by heading in an inviting Louis Corrigan free kick.

After holding their visitors at bay for most of the second half, Linnets then struck twice late on to seal victory – Zac Aley headed home Ryan Wade’s cross before Corrigan rattled in a superb left-footed free kick.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Zac Aley scored Linnets' fourth goal. Picture by Tom Paul

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Ryan Wade provided the assist for Aley's goal. Picture by Tom Paul

Pontefract had the final word with a scrambled injury-time consolation goal, but it was Linnets’ night.