Pont hound Terriers out of cup quarters

Bedlington Terriers Reserves 2 Ponteland United 3 Northern Football Alliance, Bay Plastics Combination Cup Quarter-Final

Pont made two changes for this cup quarter-final, bringing in Tom Clark for the suspended Ethan Bewley and Rae dropping himself to the bench for Richard Darwent.

A close game was expected, with teams in a similar position in the league and with the pitch expected to cut up after the rain and mild weather of late.

The first opportunity went to the home side on five minutes when Pont switched off when a free-kick was awarded against them.

Terriers played it short and quickly down the left and the ball was cut back from the by-line to Jordi Miller who skied his shot over the bar from 25 yards.

Five minutes later, Pont had their own free-kick in a central position which L’Argent skimmed just over the bar.

As expected, the surface was tricky but players somehow managed to keep their feet.

Early doors, Terriers were having some joy down the left and, for the second time in the match, a ball was played back from the by-line to Shaun Cowel but he too fired high and wide.

However, on 15 minutes, Terriers went in front when Danny Sayer ran on to a free-kick from the left and headed past a motionless defence (1-0).

Pont bounced back to equalise with a terrific move on 25 minutes. After some good passing, Clark and Dunn combined well in midfield before Dunn found the overlapping Hibbitt who crossed to the near post for in-form striker Gary Cook to steer the ball home (1-1).

The scoreline only lasted a minute. A long ball down the right caught out United and Shaun Cowel took it in his stride and cut inside before shooting past Walker at a tight angle (2-1).

Half-time came in the close contest with the home side leading 2 - 1 but with all to play for in the second half.

United needed an early goal in the second half and they got it five minutes after the restart.

Mulroy, who had shown nice touches, found himself in space in the middle of the Terriers half and played a neat ball through to Bewley, whose pace took him away from the defence and round the keeper before just getting enough on the ball to clip it into the goal (2-2).

The goal lifted Pont and they started to take more control of the game. They brought on Slade for Darwent and pushed L’Argent forward but the full-back unfortunately tweaked his groin and had to leave the field himself to be replaced by teenager Rory Spencer.

With 30 minutes to go, Bewley floated a corner into the area to the unmarked Scott who headed home to put the visitors in front for the first time (2-3).

Three minutes later, United should have been home and dry. Cook played in Bewley but, with only the keeper to beat, he fluffed his lines and keeper Glasper did well to keep his side in the tie.

Shortly afterwards, the alert Hibbitt, now in midfield, played in Cook but his first touch was heavy and the ball ran away from him into the grateful arms of Glasper.

With 20 minutes remaining, Rae brought himself on for the tiring Clark and reshuffled the back line, with Spencer playing in the centre of defence alongside Jones, with Scott moving to the right.

Both sides continued to battle hard as the ground got heavier and cut up.

Neither goalkeeper, though, was really tested in the final period, with United looking solid enough and determined to see the game out, which they did.