Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ponteland Find Loss So Hard to Accept; Longhorn Hardware League Cup

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ponteland Find Loss So Hard to Accept; Longhorn Hardware League Cup

Article excerpt

OVER the years Ponteland United have appeared in six League Cup finals - and finished as losers each time.

They will not go that far this term after crashing out in the first round, losing 2-0 at home to last term's cup winners Walker Central.

With injuries ruling out David Redhead, Marc Dummett and Liam McIvor, manager Jarrod Suddick had to play at left back.

Meanwhile, the Central had former Ponteland player Paul Gardiner in their lineup after he was released by Northern League club Ashington.

It was Gardiner who fired the holders into a 12th-minute lead against his old teammates.

Only eight minutes later Walker's David Thompson timed his run perfectly to beat the defence and home goalkeeper David Peters before sliding the ball into the empty net.

With the Central in total control, it looked as though the floodgates might open but, with Suddick showing composure in an unfamiliar defensive role and Glenn Ford a tower of strength in the centre, Pont gradually eased their way back.

A goal was all Ponteland needed to lift them but, after Andrew Davidson went close and Richard Kent wasted a good chance, it just did not happen.

In the space of four weeks Ponteland have made exits from three cup competitions and are now left to concentrate only on improving their league position in the Premier Division.

Last term's losing League Cup finalists Wallington had their home tie against past winners Carlisle City postponed and other first-round matches called off were Harraby Catholic v Ashington Colliers and Northbank v Killingworth YPC.

The biggest first-round upset was the early demise of current Premier Division leaders Gillford Park.

The Cumbrians were beaten 3-1 at First Division opponents Gateshead Rutherford despite having Michael Riding scoring a disputed opener.

Two strikes by Ross Taylor on either side of the interval put Rutherford in charge, and as the Cumbrians sought an equaliser they were caught out in the dying seconds as Andy Elliott topped up the home side's tally.

Other top-flight casualties in the first round were Blyth Town, Murton and Alnwick Town.

Despite having home advantage, Blyth Town lost out 1-0 to First Division pacesetters Stocksfield.

The tie's only goal was a penalty put away by Wayne Stewart in the 13th minute, and Blyth failed to recover from this early blow.

Murton's cup hosts were their Premier Division colleagues Heddon, who emerged as 2-1 victors after extra time.

Craig Horsfall opened Heddon's account, only for Murton's Andrew Upperton to level before the break.

The tie remained finely balanced until Heddon's Liam Heenan claimed their vital winner in the first extra period.

In another all-Premier Division clash, Alnwick Town bowed out after losing 3-0 away to Newcastle University. …

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