United bounce back from injury blow

Walker Central 0 Ponteland United 3 Northern Alliance Premier Division

PONTELAND were dealt a blow before this fixture with new signing centre-back Anthony Anzevui being sidelined for the rest of the season with a hernia problem.

Fortunately, Ross Phillips was able to return following a six months’ absence through injury.

On a bobbly pitch, the first opportunity fell to the league leaders when Harry Tulip charged down a clearance from keeper Nial Harrison but he couldn’t quite turn the ball in from a tight angle on the goal-line.

However, on eight minutes, the visitors were in front. Davidson floated a dangerous free-kick into the goal area and captain Glenn Ford was on hand to head the ball past keeper Harrison.

Shortly afterwards, Ford misjudged a long ball and when the cross came in, Liam Mulligan hit a ferocious shot, which rattled against the crossbar with Pont’s keeper Havelock just looking on.

Despite the setback, Walker remained positive, playing some decent football with forwards Liam Mulligan and Grant Kershaw at the centre of most attacks.

Kershaw danced by Phillips down the right but Ford came to the rescue to clear for a corner.

From the low, driven corner Ben Holmes shot high and wide without troubling Havelock.

On 35 minutes, Davidson scored with yet another trademark free-kick curling his shot over the defensive wall and into the top corner.

This effectively killed the game, with Ponteland being satisfied to maintain their two-goal cushion.

In the second half, it didn’t take long for Pont to increase their lead.

On 53 minutes, the lively John Dunn retrieved the ball down the left before crossing to Tulip. The in-form striker swivelled and fired a volley right-footed into the bottom left corner of the net.

McIvor came on five minutes later for the struggling Davidson and Pont’s manager Suddick made further changes, bringing on Daglish and Kerr for Phillips and Dummett with 25 minutes remaining.

Walker continued to battle on with some neat forward play.

Havelock did well to dive at the feet of Nabby Benn and, with 15 minutes remaining, Benn did well to rob Ford down the left but his cross was well intercepted by Dean Gate now playing at centre-back.

With five minutes remaining, John Dunn was brought down on the left and instantly took a quick free-kick to McIvor, who played the ball back into the path of the striker.

Dunn’s shot, however, lacked accuracy and went wide of the far post.

In the final minutes, Walker again hit the bar after good link-up play between substitute Harfer Alao and Kershaw, with Alao smacking his header against the woodwork.

With Alnwick Town not playing, this fixture gave Pont the advantage of extending their lead to five points, although Alnwick now have two games in hand.

Pont were not at their best but did sufficient to overcome a young but talented Walker team.