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Friday, 29 May 2015

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Under-strength United are sent packing from county cup

WITH only nine men available, it is little surprise to learn that Ponteland United were sent crashing out of the Northumberland FA Minor Cup.

But the under-strength side, which included manager Michael Havelock volunteering to play in goal, battled valiantly to restrict the Division One promotion candidates Newcastle Chemfica (Independent) to just a 2-0 victory.

It was a disappointing turn out for Pont though as they could not field a full side despite a place in the semi-finals of the county cup up for grabs.

Prior to Saturday, United would have been confident of getting a result at a side they beat 1-0 in the league the previous week.

Havelock was rarely threatened in the opening period.

And it remained goalless until five minutes before the break when Dean Laycock opened the scoring from close range.

It was a similar pattern in the second half with Chemfica understandably having most of the possession but finding a well organised United defence difficult to break down.

But prolific marksman Steve McLaughlin added a second Chemfica goal with 20 minutes to go despite United showing determination and character to achieve a creditable scoreline against their high flying hosts.

United's situation was not helped by the fact that their reserves had played in a previous round of the same competition meaning 14 players were cup tied and couldn't play in the club’s hour of need!

l WHITLEY Bay A goalkeeper Michael Hammond was the toast of his teammates as he denied Wallington a place in the semi-finals of the county cup.

With their Northumberland FA Senior Benevolent Bowl quarters tie going into the dreaded penalty shootout, Hammond came to his side’s rescue to keep out two spot kicks to earn Bay a 4-3 triumph.

When the two teams met in the Northern Alliance recently, Wallington drew on their strong sense of team spirit to overturn a one goal deficit to finish the game as 2-1 victors.

Going into the tie full of confidence, they could not breach Bay’s strong defence - with their opponents encountering the same problem as it ended goalless after extra time.

Yet it was to end in disappointment for the Greens from Scots Gap, Hammond proving tricky to beat from 12 yards out.

Prudhoe Town are now the only remaining team from the district left in Northumberland’s second largest cup, and they hope to brush aside Northern Alliance outfit Shankhouse who visit Kimberly Park for a 1.30pm kick off tomorrow.