A BRACE for in-form Reece Havelock-Brown helped Ponteland United return to winning ways.

The black and whites were 4-1 winners over Blyth Spartans Reserves, where they took advantage of superb facilities and a glorious playing surface at Croft Park.

And the convincing win saw United progress into the next round of the Northumberland FA Les Todd Senior Benevolent Bowl.

Ponteland restricted Blyth to long-range efforts in the opening stages, before breaking the deadlock themselves. Zac Bewley picked up the ball on the left hand side, and after spotting the home goalkeeper off his line, scored with a fine, opportunistic lob.

On the half hour mark, Havelock-Brown made it 2-0 after Blyth struggled to clear the ball from a goalmouth scramble, and it fell to the forward who finished confidently from close range.

Ponteland made it 3-0 before half time. This time, Havelock-Brown ran onto a through ball and found the bottom corner with a side-footed finish.

Blyth pulled a goal back in bizarre circumstances. Visiting player/manager Liam McIvor gave away a free kick, and proceeded to head the ball into his own net from the resulting set-piece.

But he needn’t have worried, for, with five minutes to go, Darren Young found himself clear on goal and provided a strong finish to make it 4-1.

Club secretary Alan Birkinshaw was pleased at the way the side played in the absence of main striker Gary Cook.

He added: “Both teams got the ball down and played some attractive football, and it was a very entertaining game.

“The beautiful playing surface at Croft Park played a part in this, it really encouraged a passing game.

“We had a lot of ball players in our team, and our front three, with Zac Bewley on the left side, Havelock-Brown on the right, and Ethan Bewley as centre forward, really were a goalscoring threat.”

Birkinshaw said Blyth could have scored early in the game when a downward header was tipped over the crossbar after bouncing in front of the goalkeeper.

He added: “That could have been a crucial moment. It was great to see us grow in to the game however, and win with such confidence.”

On Saturday, Northern Alliance Premier Division side Ponteland are away at AFC New Fordley in the Team Valley Carpets Challenge Cup.