Seaton Delaval 1 Ponteland United 0 Northern Alliance, Premier Division
THE game started in quite dramatic fashion when Seaton Delaval forward Steven Anderson received a red card in only the second minute of the game for swinging an arm at centre-back Glenn Ford.
This seemed to give the league leaders a great opportunity and an encouraging start but it didn’t quite work out that way.
It all looked promising when Redhead burst down the right and passed to Tulip who in turn found Gavin Wood who neatly tied up the ball for Willis but he shot wide of the target.
On ten minutes, a great ball from Willis found Kent on the right but his cross was deflected for the first corner of the game.
Ponteland were in the ascendency and Tulip’s mistimed effort was dribbling toward the goal but it was cleared by Allison for a corner.
From the corner, Ford made a needless challenge on a Delaval defender on the goal-line and was rightly booked for over-aggression. A free-kick by Stephen Gray for Delaval was driven into the box but, although inviting, there was no one running through and the ball went harmlessly through for a goal-kick.
Lack of control in the penalty box was frustrating the visitors, with Tulip miscontrolling Redhead’s cross and Kent then overrunning a neat pass from Wood.
Five minutes before half-time, Ponteland had a strong appeal for a penalty when Tulip was sandwiched by two players but the referee waived play on. On another day, this would have been given.
Half-time came with the score goal-less and, although Delaval had battled well, Ponteland were coming more into the game as the half progressed but it has to be said without creating any clear-cut opportunities.
The second half continued in the same manner with Delaval defending stoutly and Ponteland surprisingly lacking any creativity to score goals.
Tulip wasted a cross from Kent’s pass down the line and the centre-forward linked up well with Dummett but again crossed high and wide of goal. The best chance of the second half fell to Delaval’s Tom Wilson overlapping down the right but his shot was charged down by Ford.
Chances were few and far between and a goal from a set-piece or a mistake looked the most likely to change the stalemate. The subdued Davidson floated a low free-kick, which was cleared back to him and he then lofted a ball to the back-stick, where Ford headed it towards goal but his header was cleared for a corner.
With 20 minutes remaining, Delaval took the lead.
A shot from substitute Craig Cook was blocked by Dummett but Phillips, who had an excellent game, was adjudged to have fouled his man when looking to complete the clearance.
From the free-kick in a dangerous central position some 24 yards from goal, Stephen Grey curled his shot into the goal off the inside of a post.
Ponteland tried in vain to get something from the game and at one stage, 20 of the 21 players still on the field were inside the Delaval penalty box but the home team, driven on by captain Geoff Allison, stood firm to cap an excellent week after lifting the Kicks Leisure Challenge Cup on Thursday evening.
Ponteland still have much work to do if they are going to lift the league trophy at the end of the season and will need to show more passion and desire in the remaining matches.