Pont in seventh heaven to progress in the cup

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Ponteland United 7 Lindisfarne Athletic 1 NFA Minor Cup

THE black and whites opened the scoring after only eight minutes of this third-round Minor Cup tie with a flowing move involving two local teens.

Midfielder Chris Hibbitt played a delightful ball out to Tom Skidmore on the left and he kept his composure to cut inside and fire under the body of keeper Andrew Toothill.

Despite the early set-back, the visitors remained calm and well-organised denying Ponteland space in front of goal and limiting opportunities.

Cook headed wide from an excellent cross by United’s full-back Peacock and on 20 minutes the same player had a shot destined for the top corner that was headed behind.

The lively Skidmore was brought down in the penalty box with half-an-hour gone, but Hodgson missed from the spot.

Five minutes into the second half, Skidmore hit the side netting.

United were pressing and with half-an-hour to go left the door open for Athletic to take advantage.

They broke quickly from their own penalty area with four players, but centre-forward Michael Hedley didn’t need anyone as he sped for goal and fired past Starkie.

Pont’s manager Havelock took immediate action, bringing on substitutes Davidson and Anderson for Cook and Peacock.

This blow focused United’s minds with captain Stevie Rae setting the example.He dribbled into the heart of Lindisfarne’s defence and a neat interchange of passes with Anderson and Skidmore ended with the teenager netting his second goal.

This seemed to take the sting out of the visitors’ tail and United took full advantage of the greater space. Davidson scored a terrific goal with 25 minutes to go and then found Anderson whose first touch was excellent. He accelerated past the defenders before shooting past Toothill for United’s fourth.

The fifth quickly followed when Anderson found Skidmore, who cut inside to shoot into the bottom corner for a deserved hat-trick.

The youngster then dribbled past his marker, got to the by-line and pulled the ball back into the path of Hibbitt who shot gleefully into the net for his debut first-team goal.

With 10 minutes remaining, centre-back Scott went up for a corner and headed the seventh powerfully into the roof of the net.

In the end it was a comfortable victory, but credit must be given to the opposition for their first-half performance.