Holden brace shows the way
Ponteland United probably had their best display of the season to beat a strong Blyth Town side.
It was a fine all round performance with all players including the substitutes contributing to the victory. The availability of experienced players McIvor, Ford and Dummett made a difference but it was the tenacity and goalpoaching instincts of Billy Holden that secured three valuable points for the black and whites.
Read on for match report.
United were able to call upon Ford, McIvor and Dummett for this fixture and the three experienced players made an impact in the game giving Ponteland some strength, physical presence and composure in what has been a difficult season for the team. Ford in the centre of defence dominated throughout and didn't miss a header all afternoon.
On ten minutes McIvor hit the bar with a long free kick but it bounced away to safety. Then a misdirected pass by Flynn playing in an unfamiliar left wing position allowed Blyth to break down the right but Ford managed to get back and clear the danger. The opening twenty minutes was end to end without any real threat on either goal. A long clearance by Pont's keeper Carter was headed on by Wood into the path of Holden who sped towards goal. It took a strong but fair timely intervention from centre back Lee Barnes to thwart the nippy forward. Both sides were contributing to a fine game of football.
On 35 minutes United got their noses in front when Dunn released Holden running beyond the defence and with the goalkeeper advancing towards him and under pressure from the defenders he fired past keeper Scott Earl. Shortly afterwards Blyth had a loud appeal for a penalty but the referee wasn't interested and waived play on. However two minutes before the interval Blyth did get a penalty. The visitors were inside the Ponteland penalty area and some stout defending by Ford and Rankin blocked goalbound shots before the ball bounced clear to Dan Dunn who looked to be clearing the danger but an unfortunate bounce caused him to handle the ball. David Atkinson made no mistake firing to the keepers right. Half time with honours even and all to play for in the second half.
Nine minutes into the second half Ponteland had a strong appeal for a penalty themselves when the industrious Holden chased a through ball over the top and the keeper took him out. To the crouds dismay the referee ignored the appeals. This seemed to spur the black and white's on and a minute later they got a goal their play deserved. McIvor played a lofted ball towards Flynn on the left and the tall wingman headed it into the path of Holden who unexpectedly shot early and rifled the ball into the roof of the net. The centre forward then almost scored his hat trick following the best move of the game involving Wood, McIvor and Dunn but on this occasion when one on one with the keeper Earl just managed to deflect the shot with his knees to safety. Blyth had rarely threatened in the second half but Robinson had a chance from a corner by Atkinson but he headed over the bar. Holden was in the thick of things and causing Blyth all kinds of trouble with his tenacity. A weak clearance from Earl was collected by the impressive Wood who played in Holden who rounded the defender but his shot just hit the outside of the post. With ten minutes to go Pont got a penalty when Holden was grabbed around the neck as he slipped his defender. Teenager Matthew Robinson took responsibility and fired powerfully past Earl to give United some breathing space and keep their recent undefeated run going.
Final Score Ponteland United 3 Blyth Town 1.
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