Ponteland United 6 Forest Hall 1 Northern Alliance, Division One
PONTELAND got their season back on track with a thumping victory on Saturday.
With several players absent, the hosts were pleased that Peter Scott passed a late fitness test. They also welcomed back Chris Armstrong for his first game of the season and gave a debut to local teenager Cameron Robb in goal.
The visitors turned out what looked to be a young and inexperienced team and United were quickly on the front foot.
After five minutes, Dunn got behind the Forest Hall defence and squared the ball along the six-yard box to Davidson, somehow keeper Robson blocked his shot from point blank range.
There then followed a goalmouth scramble, which the away side eventually managed to clear. Shortly afterwards, good link up play between Armstrong and Davidson ended with the latter shooting just wide of the top angle.
The game then settled down with both teams playing some good football. Robb was brought into action diving low to his right but his handling was sound.
Pont had a good chance to take the lead after 30 minutes when Anderson rounded the keeper but the ball just went too wide and when he played it back it, Dunn skied his firmly struck volley over the bar.
With half-time approaching, United at last scored from what was possibly the best move of the match so far. Davidson collected a ball on the left, played it forward to Dunn and then collected the return before rolling it into the path of Rankin to fire past Robson.
Three minutes into the second half the scores were level. Robb threw the ball to Nehar in the middle of the park, but he was challenged quickly and uncertainty by Armstrong ended with Shanley picking up the loose ball and firing into the bottom corner.
However, on 55 minutes United were back in front. Dunn cushioned a delightful header into the path of Anderson who made no mistake with a low right foot shot.
Three minutes later L’Argent’s terrific strike cannoned back of the upright and out to Rankin, whose goalbound shot was tipped over by Robson.
United were in firm control at this stage with Davidson pulling the strings. Receiving a ball on the edge of the area, he cut inside and curled a shot into the top corner of the net.
It was all Ponteland now and substitute Cook got on the scoresheet – poking the ball in from short range after Davidson’s shot was saved on the line.
Another local teenager Tom Skidmore was introduced for the final ten minutes and he pulled the ball back right footed to Cook for a simple tap in. He then finished a cameo appearance at the death by picking up a loose ball before firing right footed past Robson to make the final score 6-1.