Knaresborough Town produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance on their way to a 5-1 loss to Pontefract Collieries in front of the large crowd on Good Friday evening.
Groundhoppers from all over the country descended on Manse Lane to witness a battling display during the first half, in which Knaresborough went ahead, before a capitulation and the concession of five goals in 20 second-half minutes saw the visitors to victory.
A Glyn Cotton free-kick flew narrowly wide for the title-chasers early on before Town’s Fraser Lancaster ran on to Colin Heath’s knock on, only to hit his lob too heavy and over the crossbar.
The striker then followed up with a second effort wide of the post before Pontefract gloveman Ben Saynor saved his next shot which had little power.
Lancaster then saw another effort partially blocked, but the ball fell to Colin Heath who slid his shot into the corner of the net to open the scoring in the 38th minute.
At the other end, Jack Greenough’s strike was then deflected wide of goal before Knaresborough’s Brad Walker brought the half to a close with a header which was saved by Saynor.
Cotton saw a shot saved soon after the break, but equalised soon afterwards when he fired home following a corner kick in the 51st minute.
Five minutes later, Luke Jeffs sent over a long cross from the left, but the effort turned into a looping shot which eluded home custodian Ben Ledger and nestled in the far corner of the goal.
Knaresborough struggled to prevent Pontefract passing their way deep into the home defence and, when a 67th-minute free-kick was not cleared, full-back Jack Greenough stabbed home from close range.
Kane Reece then ran in from the left and, after evading several weak challenges, placed the ball home to make the score 4-1.
Soon afterwards, Cotton spotted Ledger off his line and lobbed home from distance to conclude a 20-minute spell in which his side had notched five unanswered strikes.
Eventually, Knaresborough did create a chance, but Saynor saved Harry Brown’s free-kick before Heath headed wide from Ben Cohen’s free kick on the left wing.
Defeat sees Paul Stansfield’s side drop one place to eighth in the NCEL Division One standings.