Wooler 0 Ponteland United 3, Northern Alliance Division One
Ponteland made the scenic trip to Wooler for their first league game of the season with some familiar faces in the starting line-up.
Having lost Liam Anderson in close season with a broken wrist, United suffered a further blow when Jack L’Argent broke his arm last Tuesday and will be out of action for a couple of months.
Local lad Zach Bewley started and a debut was given to teenage goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald.
United also welcomed back Peter Scott from Cramlington Town and long-serving player Billy Holden who had a year out last season.
The game started for some reason in a tetchy fashion with Pont particularly getting needlessly involved in some of the referee’s decisions.
On 15 minutes, good play between Holden and Bewley ended with the debutant firing into the bottom corner to give Pont the lead.
Despite taking the lead, Pont didn’t really settle and Luke Strangeways had an opportunity to equalise when Craig Shipley’s defensive header from a fre- kick kindly fell into his path, but he volleyed well over the bar.
On 35 minutes, Pont doubled their lead. Holden once again linked up with Bewley who went to the byline before crossing into the goalmouth and, although the keeper parried the ball into the air, Davidson was on hand to head home.
Five minutes before half-time, Cook had a clear site of goal, but his volley went straight to the keeper whereas a foot either side of the custodian and it was a goal.
United went in at half-time with a two-goal margin but had a couple of players on yellow cards early in the game which was a concern.
Five minutes after the restart, the game should have been wrapped up.
Davidson played Holden down the wing and he did brilliantly to get to the byline before rolling the ball back into the path of Davidson’s favourite foot, but on this occasion his shot lacked any power to trouble keeper Allan McKay.
Five minutes later the dangerous Bewley got beyond the defence and his cross was saved by McKay.
Then it was the turn of captain Rae, with no support whatsoever, to go on his own dribbling past several players before getting into a shooting position but his effort was easily gathered by the keeper.
United were threatening in the early stages of the second period and Bewley scored his second after collecting a return pass from Davidson and firing past a helpless McKay.
Clark came on for Cook and then United suffered a blow when Bewley hobbled off to be replaced by Peacock allowing Rankin to move more forward.
Teenager Ethan Bewley made a cameo appearance in the closing stages when he replaced the injured Hibbitt, but by this time the game was over and Ponteland saw the game out without coming under any undue pressure.
For new manager Carr it was a good start, with three goals, a clean sheet and three points. He also knows the team can play much better.