Pont’s visit to league leaders ends pointless

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Percy Main Amateurs 2 Ponteland United 0 Northern Alliance, Nike Division One

United visited runaway league leaders Percy Main after the disappointment of last week’s defeat at lowly Blyth Isabella.

With Stevie Rae away, Tom Phillips, recent signing from Seaton Delaval, retained his place after coming on as sub, and Paul Jones returned after missing last week.

After only five minutes, the task for Ponteland became harder. A mistimed challenge just outside the box by teenager Spencer on Wright, resulted in Joseph Betts curling an unstoppable free-kick into the far corner beyond Stu Taylor, in goal for the suspended Chris Walker (1-0).

A few minutes later, it looked as though the villagers would take control, but Redmond Cockburn headed full-back Adam Green’s cross over the bar. United then came more into the game and, on 15 minutes, a fine cross by Hibbitt was hit on the half-volley by Dunn, but wide of the post.

On the half-hour mark, Pont had a strong appeal for a penalty when Phillips looked to be pulled back in front of goal. At the other end, Taylor did well to parry Stew Wright’s powerful shot after a quick break by Main down the right.

United’s custodian was called into action a few minutes later when Main got three players free down the right, but the stopper came out to block with his feet and Jones tidied up.

On 35 minutes, a late and reckless challenge on United’s captain Scott, by Betts, resulted in the big defender needing treatment with the forward lucky not to receive a card or indeed a talking to.

Three minutes before half-time Pont, having equalled the hosts in the first half, shot themselves in the foot by poor decision-making.

They were awarded a free-kick deep into their own half and, rather than take their time and move play up the other end of the field, played a ball squarely to a defender quickly which took him by surprise.

Daniel Sneap latched onto the loose ball and travelled a few yards to the edge of the area before firing past Taylor into the bottom corner to double his team’s lead (2-0).

United made two changes at the start of the second half with Mulroy and L’Argent, replacing teenagers Spencer and Liddle who weren’t feeling too well.

With Pont’s chance of getting back into the game drifting away they were awarded a penalty with a couple of minutes to go, Green tripped Cook as he was about to shoot eight yards from goal.

Cook himself took the penalty, but blazed well over the bar and that ended any prospect of a dramatic comeback.