Pont’s dominance eventually pays off in comfortable home victory

Ponteland United 2 Bedlington Terriers Reserves 0 Northern Alliance, Division One

United were looking to get back to winning ways against visitors Bedlington Terriers Reserves on Saturday, a team that did the double over them last season.

With young keeper MacDonald unavailable, it was a first start of the season for Stu Taylor and he was called into action early on when Adrian Watson went down the left and shot low down, but the experienced keeper had it covered all the way.

On 10 minutes, United created their first real opportunity.

Bewley and Holden interchanged passes down the left before Bewley cut in and teed up Cambridge who skied his shot way over the bar.

Pont were looking the most dangerous going forward with the strength and power of Lockhead upfront and the speed of Bewley and Cambridge down the flanks, well supported by Holden.

Bewley made a long run with the ball and was brought down 30 yards from goal. Lockhead struck the free-kick with venom, but it went wide of the far post.

Then Rankin tried an ambitious 60-yard shot on the volley which nearly caught out keeper Luke Glasper before Rankin struck a free-kick firm and true along the ground, but into the arms of the keeper.

The half ended with Pont being in control and although creating the only clear opportunities had nothing to show for their dominant play.

Five minutes into the second half, Bewley surged down the left but his cross was just too much ahead of the stretching Cambridge.

With half-an-hour remaining, Holden chased a cross-field ball inside the penalty area and was brought down as he touched the ball beyond the full-back. Rankin powered the spot-kick past keeper Glasper.

With their noses in front, United continued to press, using the open spaces to good effect as the visitors tired and had several more half-chances as the game progressed.

But as time ticked away, despite having the greater possession, Pont still only had the slender one-goal lead.

With eight minutes remaining, Terriers were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the Pont area. Eke struck his kick well, but Taylor, who had been relatively quiet all afternoon, was equal to it and, with strong hands, palmed the ball over his crossbar.

With five minutes to go, Pont got the killer goal with perhaps the best move of the game.

After some neat midfield build-up play, Rush found Holden down the right and the little guy went to the goal-line before pulling the ball back into the path of Hibbitt for an exquisite finish away from the keeper and into the unguarded area.