BRWFC 1 – 2 Ponteland United: Match Report

📸 | Michelle Stewart in action against Ponteland United on Sunday. Credit: Ian Runciman

Berwick Rangers Women were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Ponteland United in the quarter-final of this year’s Marsh Sports Insurance County Cup.

The Gers went into the game having received a bye in the first round of the cup competition. Visitors Ponteland United are two divisions above Berwick in the Northumberland Football League.

Berwick Starting XI: Szymaniak, Robinson, Hay, Tang, Leiper, Patterson (c), Stewart, Stewart-Owen, Donachie, Darling, Rowen

Ponteland Starting XI: Hutchinson, Brooks, Hollis, Martin, Riley, Monaghan, Ray, Kunz, Curle, Thomson, Petit

Ponteland started the game stronger as they put pressure on Berwick’s backline with many final third passes. The ball found its way to Darienne Thomson in the middle of the box but her shot went over the bar in a decent early chance for the visitors.

Berwick looked to respond as captain Jenny Patterson pushed forward from midfield. Patterson struck a first-time shot just outside the box but was blocked by the head of Ponteland’s Sophie Hollis. Minutes later, Berwick were forced into an early change as injured Laura Rowan came off for Brogan Dougal.

The away side pushed forward once more as Sophie Ray received the ball in space just inside the box. The No.12 took a great first touch and her second was even better as she drove a fierce shot into the bottom left corner to give Ponteland the lead.

Ponteland looked to extend their lead straight away as a free-kick from the left fell to Katie Monahan. Her shot was well saved by Joanna Szymaniak. Berwick struggled to clear as Ponteland’s Darienne Thomson cut inside from the right and forced another great save from Szymaniak as she dived to her right to keep it out.

A moment of chaos followed towards the end of the half as Szymaniak ran way out her box to attempt to intercept a long ball. Ponteland forward Liz Kunz got to the ball first with Szymaniak left stranded. The ball eventually fell to Katie Monaghan whose lob outside the box was cleared off the line by Kirstie Tang. Ponteland led 1-0 at the break.

Willie Henderson’s side flew out the traps at the start of the second half. Michelle Stewart used her pace to get down the right and swung in a terrific cross for Brogan Dougal, but the ball was centimetres too high for Dougal’s head.

Ponteland fought back with Thomson receiving the ball on the right. Her cross was met by Sophie Curle who took a touch and then expertly dinked the ball over Szymaniak as the ball nestled in the net to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

Berwick refused to give up as they pushed more players forward. The visitors were a threat on the counter-attack as Gers defender Kirstie Tang done well to prevent many Ponteland breakaways.

The ‘Gers launched multiple balls into the box trying to get back into the game. One ball fell nicely for Jodie Robinson on the right. Her shot came crashing off the bar with the rebound falling nicely for Brogan Dougal. Dougal’s shot forced a save from Ponteland’s Deryn Hutchinson, but her hand wasn’t strong enough as the ball trickled over the line. Hope for the Gers as Ponteland’s lead was halved.

Berwick gained the momentum as they trapped Ponteland in their defensive third. A Berwick corner swung in by Darling almost caught the keeper out as the cross went straight onto the crossbar.

As the clock ticked past 90, substitute Chloe Bates fed in Tracy Donachie whose shot was saved at the near post by Hutchinson. However, the ref wrongly gave a goal-kick which sparked Berwick complaints. The disagreement resulted in a yellow card for Mel Darling after showing dissent.

However, Ponteland held on for the win as they progress into the semi-finals. Berwick will feel hard done by after a strong second half performance but was a great effort against a side two divisions above the Gers.

The match attendance at Shielfield Park on Sunday afternoon was 182.

Match Report by Ben Langley.