After last week's welcome first home league win of the season against Gateshead Rutherford, it was back to cup action for Ponteland United against second in the table Newcastle Independent FC in the Northumberland FA Senior Benevolent Bowl quarter-finals on Saturday, February 3.

Ponteland manager Alex Martin made only one change welcoming back captain Dan Hadfield to lead the line rather than his usual defensive role to add some physicality upfront.

The hosts started well playing some slick attacking football on the artificial grass surface. An attack on the left was disrupted when central defender Niall Codling was penalised for a trip.

From the free-kick the ball was headed over. A few minutes later a speedy counter-attack down the right was ended by Kieran Tubman  tripping the attacker and he also found his name in the referee's notebook.

On 15 minutes, the threatening hosts again broke through on the right with in-form striker Jermain Metz running on invitingly and from a tight angle he fired the ball past the advancing John Jenner (1-0).

Two successive corners followed with the visitors heading the first behind for another corner and from the second they hit the bar but Ponteland cleared quickly to Mason Stephenson and Hadfield on the counter.

The captain used his physicality to the full and was brought down some 24 yards from goal. James Walker took the free-kick swerving the ball round the wall but wide of the right-hand post. Sam Armstrong had replaced the injured Sam White on 23 minutes in a like for like midfield role. Armstrong played a good ball into Stephenson who swivelled to fire a volley on the turn but pulled it wide of the far post. The visitors' spirits were uplifted with a couple of strong but fair challenges by Chris Hibbitt and Tubman. From a corner by Armstrong to the far post, the ball was headed wide. Ponteland were winning a few free-kicks and another from Armstrong found Hadfield who like Stephenson turned and fired just wide of the goal.

That proved to be the last opportunity of a half which had seen the visitors come more into the game after a tricky opening 20 minutes with Hibbitt setting a fine example with a controlled midfield display obtaining possession of the ball and using it to good effect when appropriate.

Unlike the first half Ponteland started the second period on the front foot, finding Hadfield more regularly and forcing the hosts to defend. They were rewarded on 52 minutes when a free-kick by Armstrong fell to Walker in the penalty area to shoot home (1-1). They were much more comfortable in the second period but had to maintain concentration throughout with central defenders George Harris, Codling and Tubman holding firm with assistance from wing-backs Matty Oakes and Thomas Southwood to keep the frustrated hosts at bay.

Their persistence was rewarded somewhat bizarrely on 75 minutes. From another well-worked attack, a ball was played out towards Hadfield on the right-hand side of the penalty area. The ball was intercepted and rolled back towards experienced keeper Udochukwu Ugochukwu on the edge of his area but to the shock of all in the ground he missed the ball completely kicking nothing more than fresh air, possibly due to an untimely glance towards Hadfield lurking in his eyeline some ten yards away. The ball continued on its path into an empty net with the keeper unsuccessfully trying to claw it back (1-2).

The visitors now had something to hang onto which they accomplished with every man working his socks off to see them through to the semi-finals of the competition, where they will be joined by Wallington who won 4-2 at Alnwick Town courtesy of goals from Jordan Nellis (2) and Ben Turnbull (2).

After beating Burradon & New Fordley 1-0 at Oakford Park the previous week, Wallington will face AFC Newbiggin in the Team Valley Carpets Challenge Cup Final at Craik Park, Morpeth on Tuesday 5th March (7pm kick-off).