Hopes fading

Carlisle City 3 Ponteland United 0

PONTELAND visited championship contenders Carlisle City hoping to pick up some points in their fight against relegation, but hopes were dented after only two minutes when Dan Bulman forced the ball over the line from the first corner of the match for the Cumbrians.

Despite the set back United battled away but without getting any control of the game against a confident, organised and strong running Carlisle outfit.

City almost doubled the lead just before half time when Mark Graham burst through midfield but his shot went wide of the goal.

Sadly for United the second half started like the first in that they conceded a goal in the 46th minute when Graham lashed in an unstoppable shot on the volley from distance.

The visitors now faced an uphill task against one of the meanest defences in the league with a goals against ratio of only one per game.

Ponteland continued to battle away bravely and although teenagers Warren and Stephenson tried hard in midfield they were often outnumbered and outrun by City. It was no surprise with 20 minutes remaining when Carlisle increased their lead when substitute Tom Lucock side-footed the ball into the net after a flowing move which split the Ponteland defence.

Disappointment and frustration got to some of the Pont players as the game went on with Ford being dismissed for two yellow cards – one for a strong challenge and the other for preventing the keeper from clearing the ball.

Further disappointment for the team came on the way home hearing that fellow strugglers Gateshead Rutherford had beaten league leaders Heaton Stannington 3–2.