Match report

Newcastle Benfield 3 Seaham Red Star 0
Saturday 8th October 2016

Newcastle Benfield inflicted a first defeat on Chris McCabe as Seaham Red Star boss after the home side stormed to a convincing victory over the division’s form side. As the score-line suggests, it was a day where everything clicked for Mark Convery’s side. From a highly organised and disciplined defensive unit that closed out the threat by Seaham, by way of a combative midfield display where Stephen Baptist was immaculate, to an industrious, creative and threatening attack, Benfield were simply unstoppable.

Benfield took the lead on 36 minutes through a Matty Cornish strike. The score remained the same until two goals in the final 10 minutes from Paul Brayson and substitute Jake Trodd invirogated a substantial home crowd.

Benfield, who won this fixture at the Sam Smiths Sports Ground last year by 2-1, created the first chance of the game as visiting keeper Shaun Newbrook made himself big to deny Josh Scott on three minutes. Four minutes later, Seaham then responded with an opportunity of their own when David Paul curled a shot wide despite having time on the ball.

Twice, a lack of composure nearly saw the home team take in a five-minute period. Lee Kerr was the first to be dispossessed in a dangerous area, though the Star captain eventually did well to win the ball back. The second incident came through Lee Hetherington’s back pass, leaving Brayson one on one with David Scorer, but Newbrook was then on hand to rescue Hetherington with a strong low save.

The opportunity for Brayson wrested total dominance of the game in Benfield’s favour and this was demonstrated fully as we took the lead just four minutes later. Matty Cornish picked up the ball on the edge of area, following great work by Mark Turnbull, to fire the ball into the bottom corner 36 minutes. The hosts went on to see the half out comfortably, though the Star showed a rare glimpse of their attack when a good passing move saw Robbie Bird flash a shot over Andrew Grainger’s crossbar just before the break.

In the second period, Brayson signalled the home side’s attacking intent, when he clipped the top of the crossbar from 48th minute free-kick. Bird would register the away side’s first shot of the half on 55 minutes before Denver Morris was denied an equaliser as Grainger got down quickly to effectively parry the shot behind on 61 minutes. Two minutes later, Seaham’s on loan substitute Warren Byrne nearly worked a clear opening, but Stephen Tobin effectively snuffed out the danger. This was to signify Seaham’s last credible effort on goal as play switched totally to the visitors’ goal mouth after Convery made a double change with the returning Jake Trodd and Meechack Kanda joining the action with 20 minutes left to play.

The changes were decisive. A magnificent through ball by the ever-impressive Moussa Bahkti found Brayson, who finished in emphatic style to secure the win.  Four minutes later, it would be game, set and match for the hosts. A glorious sequence of passes ended with Jake Trodd firing home. In fact,   Benfield then could have piled more misery on Seaham as Kanda’s shot was blocked on the line by David Scorer, but 3-0 was plenty good enough

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