PONTELAND travelled to Winlaton Vulcans eager to settle a score from earlier in the season.

Back in August the Black and Whites found themselves 5-0 down at home to the Vulcans, before battling back to reduce the deficit to 5-3.

This time around they ran out 2-1 winners in the return fixture, and in doing so, moved themselves up to fourth place in Northern Alliance Premier Division.

Although they have enjoyed good recent form, Ponteland were without regulars Stephen Little, Zach Bewley, Harrison Turnbull and Joe Collins.

Conditions were dry but the players faced a strong blustery wind which was expected to get worse during the game.

United started brightly and had a free kick on the edge of the area which was headed behind for a corner. Ethan Bewley was looking dangerous down the left and hit a powerful shot from distance, but it cleared the crossbar without troubling the keeper.

Both teams looked up for the challenge with a determination to overcome the conditions.

On 10 minutes, the home side had a corner which was played short to the edge of the penalty area but the incoming cross was cleared comfortably upfield.

On 15 minutes, Ponteland took the lead. Full back Henry Rawlinson made a terrific run down the left before crossing into the middle for Gary Cook to finish at the far post.

Three minutes later, Pont doubled their advantage. This time it was Bewley with a lung bursting box to box run which took him inside the the Vulcans penalty area before he was eventually fouled for a penalty.

He got up and smashed the spot kick past keeper Keiron Priestley. The referee ruled that the kick was to be retaken, but undeterred, Bewley replicated his first shot with similar precision and power.

Vulcans responded strongly with an interchange of passes in and around the penalty area. Pont’s David Short looked to anticipate and intercept a pass but was slightly late and caught his man for another penalty.

Experienced midfielder Derek Waters side footed the ball into the keeper’s bottom left hand corner, reducing the deficit to 2-1 with just 21 minutes gone.

The set-back didn’t deter Pont as they continued to press forward. Rawlinson’s cross from the left was collected by the keeper, as was his a 30-yard free kick, after Bewley had been impeded.

With Shane Brooks and Christopher Hibbitt driving Pont forward from midfield, the visitors were having a good half, and Brooks won a free kick 25 yards from goal, but his powerful effort was straight at the keeper.

With half time approaching, Cook beat his man and squared the ball to Calvert in a great position in front of goal but his shot went wide of the far post.

Winlaton started the second half brightly with the windy conditions worsening. However, the hard working Bewley capitalised on a defensive lapse, robbed his man and advanced into the penalty area but was thwarted by an excellent recovery tackle by Jack Moulding.

At the other end, goalkeeper James Anderson kept Pont’s lead intact with a diving save from a corner, while defenders made crucial interceptions.

Pont continued to weather the storm. Not for the first time, Rawlinson came out of defence with the ball and a strong run took him to the halfway line before he was fouled.

Player manager Liam McIvor was a tower of strength at the back and he too advanced to play a ball down the line to Reece Havelock-Brown, whose cross from the by-line was almost headed into his own goal by a recovering defender.

With five minutes remaining, Sean Best broke down the left and won a free kick for Winlaton. The delivery by Moulding was cleared by Pont for a corner which came to nothing as the ball was headed wide.

Cook and Calvert both went close in the final minutes but Ponteland did enough to win the game and move up the league table.