Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ponteland Will Face the Final Reckoning; THE LATEST ACTION FROM THE AREA'S SATURDAY FOOTBALL LEAGUES Wade Associates Northern Alliance Premier Division

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ponteland Will Face the Final Reckoning; THE LATEST ACTION FROM THE AREA'S SATURDAY FOOTBALL LEAGUES Wade Associates Northern Alliance Premier Division

Article excerpt

PONTELAND United will be Alliance flagbearers in this season's Northern Counties Senior Cup final.

United - representing the Northumberland FA - knocked out Cumberland FA hopefuls and league colleagues Gillford Park, winning 3-2 in their semi-final at Carlisle.

Gillford Park's front-runners Daniel Rayson, Lee Otway and Steve Skinner caused early problems, but Ponteland weathered the storm.

They almost took an early lead when Dominic Clauzel played the ball to Richard Kent, whose first-timer flew over the bar.

However, Pont did not have to wait long for their opener and a good ball over the top from Liam McIvor found Paul Ford in the clear.

He made no mistake in side-footing the ball just inside the right hand post of home goalkeeper Jack Twentyman.

Ponteland wasted several opportunities and were caught out just before the break when Gillford equalised.

Sean Willis lost the ball in midfield, and when Otway was put through he finished with a tremendous shot into the top of the net, giving David Peters no chance.

Willis, however, made amends for his costly mistake only five minutes later.

He interchanged passes with McIvor and from wide on the right crossed to Ford, whose header came back off the bar for Paul Hodgson to slot in the rebound.

Only five minutes after the restart, Gillford equalised again with Skinner slamming his drive into the bottom corner, and at this stage the match could have gone either way.

However, with 15 minutes to go, Sean Willis cut in and, after beating two Park defenders, curled a left-foot shot over a stranded Twentyman.

This was a terrific performance from Ponteland after a run of five league defeats and is the first time a team representing the Northumberland FA has reached the final of this regional competition.

United's big day will be at East Riding on April 19.

Meanwhile, Peterlee Town will be taking on Harraby Catholic Club in this year's Bosch Power Tools Challenge Cup final after they both cleared their respective semi-final hurdles. …

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