Ponteland United 4 Newcastle Chemfica 2 Pin Point Recruitment Combination Cup, Round Two
WITH Rankin and Rae injured and Lamb unavailable, United made three changes from the side which beat Seaton Delaval last Saturday for this Pin Point Recruitment Combination Cup second round match.
The game was only a minute old when United found themselves a goal down after centre-forward Leonard Lansbury got on the end of a throw-in to put the visitors in front.
However, it didn’t take long before Pont were level, with Cook the architect on seven minutes.
As Pont surged forward, the ball was fed to the powerful front man who swivelled well to get to the bye-line before squaring the ball to Marc Findlay to crash the ball into the roof of the net.
United then started to play some good football with Findlay, Hodgson and Davidson linking well in midfield and feeding Cook and Holden up front.
Holden was looking particularly dangerous with his speed and quickness of feet.
From a Holden pass, Davidson shot at the keeper and later Holden himself shot wide, having done all the hard work.
At the other end, Chemfica had two excellent forwards in Lansbury and McLaughlin with the latter being denied by an excellent save by Taylor. Armstrong made a rare burst down the right to collect a ball from Ford and was brought down.
Davidson’s curling free-kick with pace was headed goalwards by Holden and Ford made certain, heading in from a few yards out to put the black and whites back in front.
Cook had another powerful run, this time on the left, and as he approached the goal he opted to ignore the in-coming Holden and somehow forced the ball onto the post before it rolled across the goal-line.
Holden followed in but was thwarted by a last-ditch tackle by a defender.
In the closing minutes of the half, Chemfica gave a warning of their capabilities.
Lansbury broke away down the centre and was denied by Taylor palming the ball around the post.
Shortly afterwards, McLaughlin similarly raced clear but Armstrong’s determination to catch him probably hurried the striker who shot wide with only Taylor to beat. Half-time, United 2 Chemfica 1.
In the first period of the second half, United weren’t keeping the ball quite as well and were defending deeper.
Ten minutes into the half, Kent replaced Ford which perhaps gave the side a better balance down the right and with the ever-improving L’Argent down the left, United were blessed with pace all across the front line. An excellent cross by Cook found L’Argent which the midfielder hit first-time but screwed it high and wide.
On 65 minutes, a flowing move with Hodgson, Kent and Cook all involved ended with Cook slipping the ball through to Holden who shot early past Weatherstone to give United some breathing space.
Chemfica kept plugging away though and played some good football without really troubling the United rearguard until the excellent McLaughlin pounced on a lack of concentration by Davidson as he lingered on the ball just outside the Ponteland area and smacked it into the far corner to lift the visitors’ spirits.
United brought on Anderson and Wright to replace Cook and Davidson as Chemfica pushed more bodies forward in search of an equaliser.
United always looked dangerous on the break though and with five minutes to go Wright, with instant control, found Kent with an exquisite pass, racing clear of the defence and finishing with aplomb past the advancing keeper Weatherstone to fire United into the semi-final where they will meet Heddon, who disposed of Bedlington Terriers Reserves 1-0.