Ponteland United 3-1 Alnmouth United
A pulsating first ever minor cup final for Alnmouth ultimately ended in failure last Friday night at a cold Whitley Park.
But their higher division opponents were made to fight all the way and were certainly given a second half scare, requiring extra time to finally extinguish the Seasiders dream.
Ponteland set about the task from the off at lightning pace and Mick Ashurst between the posts had already been called on to display his agility before they were rewarded when Gary Cook broke through to slot home on ten minutes.
The pattern firmly set up to half-time, Alnmouth weathered the storm with a combination of dogged defending, fine goalkeeping and the intervention of the woodwork on more than one occasion, although they gave notice of their intentions to follow when Jorden Frost flashed a header just over from a corner as the break approached.
Accustomed to having to chase a game, Alnmouth, true to form, grew into it in the second period and the deserved leveller arrived mid-way through when influential substitute Andy Murray ‘nutmeged’ his marker before letting fly from beyond the edge of the area – the looping trajectory deceiving ‘keeper Darren Bowey-Tyler.
With their tales up, the balance of play was now fully reversed and in particular Murray was unlucky when another couple of efforts were cleared off the line as Ponteland struggled to contain waves of attacks from their invigorated opponents.
Extra time stalemate was broken by Cook again during the first period as he took advantage of a defensive slip to run clear and hit the target.
In all, Ponteland hit the woodwork on no fewer than six occasions throughout the match.
Having to throw caution to the wind, Alnmouth were caught out again as the final whistle loomed as Reece Havelock-Brown capped off his fine performance by finding the net via a deflection.
This was Ponteland’s first ever win in the NFA Minor Cup and congratulations go to them on their achievement.
Alnmouth Utd: M Ashurst, A Martin, J Frost, R Wright, M Brown, D Donohoe, B Rogerson, M Robson (D Dawson), P Murray, J Donohoe, (J Quinn) K Bell (A Murray). Subs not used: R Taylor, L Jefferson.
Referee: A McDonough