Ponteland United 2 Bedlington Terriers Res 3 Northern Alliance, Division One
PAUL Ford and Andrew Davidson retained their places in the starting eleven from the side which finished the game against Cullercoats last week with Sean Willis coming in on the right for Flynn.
On a glorious late summer’s afternoon and on an excellent pitch at the Leisure Centre, the home team were hoping to turn around their sequence of disappointing results which haven’t reflected their performances.
With today’s visitors, Bedlington Terriers Reserves, fielding Peter Snowden and Adam Ryder, it would be a difficult test.
After five minutes, L’Argent fired in an excellent cross which was just poked past the post by Ford. However, five minutes later Bedlington’s Williamson beat the offside trap and ran clear but with only Carter to beat slid the ball past the upright.
Both teams were playing some good football which has been a feature this season at Ponteland.
Referee Charlie Kitson had a tricky decision to make after 15 minutes when Terriers keeper David Martin rushed out of his area to meet a ball over the top and as the ball was poked by him he instinctively flung out a hand to divert it.
A yellow card was shown which was probably the correct decision.
From the resultant free-kick Davidson hit the foot of the post. At the other end, Callum Donaghue picked up a loose ball and it took a tremendous block by Armstrong to divert the ball for a corner.
From the corner, Snowden volleyed wide.
After 20 minutes, Ponteland found themselves a goal behind. A weak clearance fell to Dylan Williamson albeit with a lot to do but his raking shot from 25 yards flew into the top corner giving Carter, or any other keeper for that matter, no chance.
Ten minutes later, Williamson got his second when he got clear of his marker and lobbed over the advancing Carter.
Five minutes before half-time, United pulled one back when Ford jumped in the air with Martin for a high ball.
The keeper failed to catch cleanly and as the ball fell to the ground Ford swivelled to turn it into the net and give the home team some encouragement at half-time.
Five minutes into the second half, the referee had another difficult decision when Holden pushed the ball beyond Snowden and, with a clear run on goal, was tripped.
After a long discussion, the referee showed the experienced defender a yellow card which again was probably correct considering the 28-yard distance from goal. Davidson’s free-kick was pushed away by Martin.
Pont were still in the game and a good passing move released Ford clear but the keeper blocked his shot and the ball fell back to Rae but his attempted lob wasn’t high enough and the keeper collected easily.
On 65 minutes, Hodgson claimed for a foul in midfield but this was ignored by the referee.
The Bedlington player continued with his run unchallenged, played the ball out to the right and Scott Westaway was on hand to head past Carter.
The tall Snowden and diminutive Holden had been having a good contest all afternoon and when the nippy forward slipped the ball past the defender, the Terriers and Blyth Spartans legend scythed him down.
Referee Kitson had little option but to show a second yellow leaving the Terriers to play the remaining 20 minutes with 10 men.
Holden did manage to pull one back with quarter-of-an-hour to go when he beat the defence and fired past Martin.
The energetic Rankin made a strong run down the right before cutting in and unleashing a left-foot shot which just cleared the bar. Holden then ran onto an excellent through-ball from substitute Jarvis Smith but his shot was saved by Martin.
Once again, Ponteland had contributed to a good game of football but came away pointless with the management team left wondering what to do to stop the barren run.
Next week, attention can be diverted to the cup, with a home tie against Wallington in the Pin Point Recruitment Combination Cup.