Pont’s unbeaten run falls apart at home

Ponteland United 1 Wooler 2 Northern Football Alliance, Nike Division One

Having gone undefeated in October, United were looking to continue their winning run against lowly Wooler.

They were unchanged apart from the return of captain Stephen Rae, who replaced Grant Cambridge.

United couldn’t have got off to a better start and went in front after only four minutes.

Rae took a short corner to Bewley, who crossed to the far post where Peter Scott rose above everyone to head the ball into the net (1-0).

With their tails up, Pont played some neat football, with Bewley and Cook looking menacing down the flanks.

On 10 minutes, a free-kick by Bewley was headed just wide by Dunn. United then forced a series of corners but were unable to make their pressure count.

Hibbitt and Mulroy then combined well in midfield before feeding the ball into the path of Cook. The forward went past three players in a mazy dribble before he was brought down just outside the area. L’Argent stepped up and clipped the free-kick just over the bar and wide of the upright.

Wooler then had a series of cautions with Pearson, Scott, Matthewson and Tait all entering the referees notebook, more out of frustration than anything malicious.

From yet another corner Hibbitt found Dunn who headed towards Cook whose powerful shot was brilliantly saved by Avery.

Despite all the possession, United lacked a cutting edge and were undone on the stroke of half-time.

A free-kick was floated in from the left, and although having time to clear the ball a moments hesitation by Hibbitt was sufficient for James Scott to level the scores.

Half time: 1-1

At the start of the second half, Wooler had Strangeways join his aforementioned colleagues into the referee’s book for protesting too much.

He wasn’t protesting seconds later when the free-kick was met by Frazer Tait at the back post to head the visitors into the lead (1-2).

Two goals in five minutes had stunned Pont but they continued to play some neat football.

Oliver Leedham, making his debut, came off the bench to replace Hibbitt and linked up well with Dunn, who crossed to Cook.

The striker couldn’t quite get a strong enough connection on the ball and the opportunity was lost.

Cook then had a shot deflected into the air and although Dunn did well to leap for the ball, his header just went wide of the upright.

With 20 minutes remaining, L’Argent tweaked his groin and was replaced by Doyle, and, although United continued to move the ball around, Wooler had something to hold onto and defended resolutely.

As the clock ticked away, one sensed it wasn’t going to be Pont’s day. They had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down after Scott was pushed to the floor.

A delighted Wooler side took all three points, leaving Ponteland frustrated and despondent after controlling most of the game.

Their flair players perhaps overdid things from time to time and, with greater care in the last third of the pitch, the scoreline could and should been much different.

Credit to the opposition, though, who, despite being outplayed in the first half, once they got their noses in front, stuck to their task and defended stoutly.