THE Bewley brothers took centre stage as Ponteland United won their second successive match of the new year.

A hat-trick from younger sibling Ethan (21), and a brace for big brother Zac (25), led the Black and Whites to a resounding 5-0 victory at Percy Main Amateurs.

Ponteland went into the Northern Alliance Premier Division clash in confident mood, buoyed by the previous week’s cup victory over Jesmond.

They were boosted by the return of midfielder Chris Hibbitt, while Joe Collins, a new signing from Durham City, took his place on the bench. David Short returned to the starting XI for the injured Harrison Turnbull.

United started well and took the game to their hosts, but were nearly caught out on the counter attack as early as the fifth minute.

A Main break down the left caused problems, but Short came across from the left to clear the danger.

On 10 minutes it was Short venturing forward to find captain Reece Havelock-Brown in an advanced position. The captain did well to get his shot away but keeper Cameron Fergus palmed the ball round the post.

This prompted a series of attacks. Zac Bewley had an effort saved by the keeper, then Gary Cook was through on goal but Fergus blocked his goalbound effort.

United were playing some good football and dominating play in difficult windy conditions, and it seemed only a matter of time before they scored.

The breakthrough came after 30 minutes. Zac Bewley made inroads from the left and was brought down inside the box. He dispatched the resulting penalty, despite a strong hand from the goalkeeper.

Eight minutes later Ponteland doubled their lead advantage. Cook and Zac Bewley combined well before Cook played an intelligent crossfield pass inside the full back for the advancing Ethan Bewley. The latter used his strength to get beyond the defence, and fired home.

Ponteland had used the wind advantage to great effect, and led 2-0 at half time.

In the second half, the front three of the Bewley brothers and Cook continued to cause problems for the hosts with their speed and movement. Good play between Zac Bewley and Cook ended with the former swivelling to fire an effort just past the post. Then Dean Gallagher struck the crossbar from a free-kick.

Gallagher and Cook combined on 65 minutes with the latter releasing Zac Bewley down the left. He sped past his marker before slotting the ball past the keeper to make it 3-0.

Ethan Bewley then scored two goals in quick succession in the 67th and 68th minutes to put the game well beyond Percy Main.

By this time Dean Richmond had come on for the injured Henry Rawlinson, while Louis Calvert and debutant Collins came on for Cook and Zac Bewley respectively.

Ponteland ended the game in complete control and could have scored more goals, but manager Lian McIvor was delighted with his teams overall performance.

The victory saw United leapfrog their opponents into eighth place in the league table, with 16 points from 11 games.

Ponteland will travel to struggling Shankhouse on Saturday, and will be full of confidence as they look to continue their upturn in form.

Before then, the Black and Whites were set to host second-bottom Whitley Bay Reserves, in a midweek league clash on Wednesday evening.

Alan Birkinshaw