Forster hat-trick denies Pont
Stocksfield 4 Ponteland United 4
Defensive frailties cost Ponteland all three points in this match against fellow strugglers Stocksfield. With ten minutes to go Ponteland were leading by a two goal margin and looked to be taking all three points until man of the match, Stephen Forster, decided otherwise.
Max Turner got Pont off to a flying start with a superb goal after five minutes but nobody would have predicted what was to follow.
United visited fellow strugglers Stocksfield hoping to secure a win which would lift them into mid table. It all started well with only five minutes gone when Max Turner collected Tulip's pass before cutting in from the left and curling a shot into the far top corner. Five minutes later Pont nearly doubled their lead when Gavin Wood headed over when in a good position for Paul Hodgson's free kick. Wood did hit the target with a volley from Turner's cross but keeper Owen Little caught comfortably.
Stocksfield were looking dangerous going forward with pacy centre forward Stephen Forster causing most trouble with his movement and direct running. It was no surprise to see Stocksfield equalise on 15 minutes when young Ben Dibb-Fuller ran clear of the defence and fired calmly past Carter. Both defences were looking vulnerable and further goals looked inevitable.
However it was a keeper error which allowed Ponteland to take the lead after 23 minutes. Gavin Wood flicked on a ball toward the Stocksfield penalty area but a lack of communication and mix-up between keeper Little and his central defender resulted in Little striking the ball at the feet of the harrowing Harry Tulip and then could only watch the rebound run into the open goal.
Stocksfield were still causing problems going forward, however, and had a great chance to equalise when Brazier dribbled down the right and then pulled the ball back into the path of Forster but he skied his effort over the bar. However on the half-hour mark Forster made amends when just like Debb-Fuller, he ran beyond the Pont defence and volleyed the bouncing ball past Carter for the equaliser.
Dangerman Forster was then thwarted by Carter who did very well to save the striker's volley low down through a crowd of players. Seven minutes before half time Pont got their noses in front again when Turner's cross from the left was missed by keeper Little and McGorie ran in at the far post to head home before the ball crossed the line. Despite going in front again Ponteland never looked comfortable and were fortunate to see Forster head over unchallenged from a freekick just before the interval.
The question at half time was whether this game would tighten up or whether the forwards would go on to score more goals. Carter was involved quite early in the second half to block McDonalds shot from Brazier's cross. With half an hour to go Pont's Asst Manager Steve Baxter brought on Davidson and his impact was immediate.
The winger curled a superb trademark cross into the path of Gavin Wood who made no mistake thumping his header into the roof of the net. Davidson then nearly scored himself but headed wide of the post and then Turner was put through by Wood but his well struck left foot shot also went wide of the target.
Substitutes Palmer and Suaibu for Pont came on for Trick and Tulip in the expectation that Pont would just see the game out. Stocksfield had other ideas. With ten minutes remaining Forster was untracked to head firmly into the roof of the net from a free kick to give the home team a sniff of a point.
Suiabu did well down the left and beat two players on the bye line before playing an inviting ball all along the goal line but no-one could touch the ball into the net.
Stocksfield weren't finished as they fired a volley wide from a corner but with two minutes to go they got their rewards for a determined effort. A long throw was headed backwards into the path of the ever-alert Forster to react first and head past Carter to share the points.
Final Score Stocksfield 4 Ponteland United 4.
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