PONTELAND United gave their high-flying hosts a scare but were unable to hold firm with a place in the league cup semi-finals up for grabs.

The visitors took the last eight tie to Northern Alliance champions AFC Killingworth, but came up just short as they went down 2-1.

In an end-to-end game, United’s attacking threat was spearheaded by the energetic Zac Bewley and his younger brother Ethan, while central defenders Steve Little and Harry Rawlinson were rock solid to keep Killy’s main goal threat Malcolm Morien quiet.

Reece Havelock-Brown had United’s first real chance but blazed it over, before the home side took the lead on the half hour.

A free kick was parried away from goal by Pont goalkeeper James Anderson, but an alert Killingworth player managed to send home the rebound. The teams turned around on level terms when, with five minutes to go before the interval, Zac Bewley’s inviting cross was met by Ethan Bewley, and he headed home from six yards out.

Ponteland continued to probe after the break but their attacking impetus was disrupted on the hour mark when Zac Bewley, recently returning after 18 months on the sidelines through injury, needed to leave the field of play after twisting his knee.

It was a hammer blow to United who went on to concede the deciding goal five minutes later when a home player turned Rawlinson and fired home.

United huffed and puffed as they looked for a way back in the tie, but missed chances in front of goal were to prove their downfall.

Now eliminated from all cups, Pont look to improve on their seventh position in the Premier Division table.