Ashington Colliers 4-1 Ponteland United
United visited struggling Ashington Colliers with an outside chance of competing for the league title but blew their chances in a five minute spell just after half time.
With the normal grass pitch unplayable the match was moved to the 3G pitch – a surface which should suit Pont’s style of play.
They had a good opportunity after five minutes when good interplay between Havelock-Brown and Cook ended with Ethan Bewley heading towards goal but he shot over albeit from a tight angle. They were given a warning five minutes later when Nisbet was dispossessed in midfield by James Loughborough who saw his shot from 25 yards brilliantly tipped over by the diving Craig Whinham,
The warning wasn’t heeded however and on 20 minutes David Brown received a ball in the centre, wasn’t closed down, and his left foot shot from a similar distance went unerringly into the top corner.
This boosted the confidence of the home side who pressed their high flying opponents all over the pitch. United, however, equalised on the half hour mark when captain Glenn Ford headed in Havelock-Brown’s corner.
In this first period United never really got going and credit must be given to Ashington. Dangerman Zac Bewley at last started to cause problems as half time approached with two runs down the left.
One ended with a cross just too high for his younger brother Ethan and then he played in the overlapping L’Argent who whipped in a superb cross but nobody was on the end to cause any problems for the home side.
Half time came with all to play for but nobody was expecting what happened next. United had never really settled in that first period and were rushing their play to such an extent they lost the ball in good areas. Centre backs Ford and particularly Spencer looked uneasy.
Two minutes into the half United were undone by a regulation long ball which was collected by the experienced David Brown to shoot past Whynham.
A minute later another long ball was deliberately headed backwards by Ford for his keeper but it was anticipated by the alert Brown who took advantage as the header lacked power leaving Whynam exposed andBrown nipped in to poke the ball into the net for his hat trick.
At the other end Fenwick clipped the top of the bar from a free kick but worse was to come on 52 minutes as striker Craig Webb rubbed salt into Pont’s woujnds when he made it four..
Shell shocked Pont couldn’t believe what they had experienced but retained belief that to close the margin wasn’t beyond them and went on to create some opportunities.
Fenwick volleyed over the bar and Ford headed against the woodwork, whilst Havelock-Brown was twice one-on-one with the keeper.
The final score flattered the hosts, now Ponteland must pick themselves up for the trip to Northbank Carlisle on Saturday.