Bedlington Terriers Res 3 Ponteland United 0 Northern Alliance, Division One
Fresh from their success last week against league leaders Cramlington Town, United were looking forward to their trip to Welfare Park and to avenge the 5-1 drubbing they suffered in the corresponding fixture back in September.
With Hodgson unavailable and Peacock injured, Chris Hibbitt and Stevie Rae returned to the starting line-up, with Tom Clark retaining his place in the starting 11 in midfield. The pitch conditions didn’t suit Ponteland’s passing game and the home team looked the more dangerous in the early stages.
Keiran Eagan got free down the left after 10 minutes and saw his shot deflected by keeper Bowey-Tyler for a corner.
From the corner, keeper Bowey-Tyler was in action, collecting Josh Laverick’s header.
Five minutes later, Laverick intercepted Shipley’s pass before speeding down the left and crossing for Eagan, who, thankfully for the visitors, shot wide of the far upright.
On 20 minutes, Potts was penalised 30 yards from goal and Mogwo’s powerful drive was tipped onto the crossbar and away by Bowey-Tyler.
This at least seemed to wake up Ponteland. Dunn picked up a ball on the left and was brought down just outside the penalty area. Rankin’s free-kick lacked any power to trouble either wall or keeper.
On half-an-hour, Pont produced the best attack of the game until that point. Shipley played the ball to Rae who slipped it inside the full-back to Rankin, whose cross had keeper Simon Brown stretching at the far post to divert the ball for a corner.
Pont’s play was encouraging as they ended the half the better team. Shipley was then penalised for an infringement on Stuart Melville, who just couldn’t connect with his head to direct the kick goalwards from a good position.
United then almost scored when L’Argent had a shot stopped on the line, but, at the other end, Laverick spurned his second chance of the game when through on goal, but saw his shot come back off the post with Bowey-Tyler beaten.
The teams went in all-square at half-time with Bedlington just shading the half.
Five minutes into the second half, United had a great opportunity when Anderson chased a ball over the top by Rankin, but miscued and lobbed the keeper and the goal.
United once again had to thank Bowey-Tyler as he saved low down pushing the ball out wide, but Laverick collected it and crossed all along the goal-line out to Jones, who cleared the danger.
United were looking more in control, with attacks by Bedlington sporadic.
With half-an-hour remaining, Dunn was again impeded and a quick free-kick from Rae to Dunn was returned to the captain, but he shot wide from just outside the area.
Hibbitt then sprayed a glorious ball to Rankin on the right. He headed back across the goal but again wide of the far-post. Ponteland looked the more likely side to score, but on 72 minutes it all went horribly wrong.
A long ball forward found substitute Callum Donohue battling with and getting the better of Potts and Shipley before going on to round Bowey-Tyler and score (1-0).
Davidson had come on and found Dunn down the left. He played the ball back to Rae who lobbed the keeper but also lobbed the bar and another half-chance was lost.
Five minutes to go and Pont’s defence was exposed again, with Eastway taking advantage to fire into the roof of the net and finally at the death Donoghue got his second following another defensive error (3-0).
The scoreline flattered the home side and Ponteland came off the park wondering how they had managed to lose such a game. But, if you cannot keep clean sheets you’re not going to win many matches and sadly, this has been a feature of Ponteland’s season.