PENRITH 1 NEWCASTLE BENFIELD 1 (11/01/2017)
With no mid-week games planned for the rest of the season and only 17 more matches to play. the fixture secretary decided that a trip to Penrith in midweek would be a perfect place to go to from the North East. The potential for snow and winds is very high in the months January / February and with very few postponements this season clubs could be finished before the end of April with some clubs having only ten matches left to play. Although it was a bitterly cold night with a strong wind it didn’t affect the way the game was played with no real advantage to the team kicking with the wind
The game got off to a sensational start for Penrith with a goal within 32 seconds; a great pass down the Penrith right wing was seized upon by MARTYN COLEMAN the tall striker collected the ball evading Benfield defender Lewis Scorgie. He then advanced in to shoot low into the far corner of the Benfield goal to make the score 1-0 to Penrith. Within three minutes the home team should have added to their total; again it was Martyn Coleman, this time down the Penrith left wing. He again got the ball advancing towards the Benfield penalty area, he had two chances to shoot at goal but he delayed his effort on both occasions trying to get into a perfect shooting position, in doing so he allowed Benfield defenders to get back in position and his final shot was blocked and cleared away.
Benfield did eventually get a kick of the ball with five minutes having been played, cool play by Olly Leedham saw him create enough space to put a slide rule pass inside Penrith defender Will Paul allowing John Campbell the chance to advance to the by line before rolling the ball across the six yard box just evading a good contact from the in rushing Paul Brayson with only the slightest of touches giving Penrith goalkeeper Stuart Dixon an easy save.The ten minute mark arrived and it was only a fantastic save from the Penrith keeper Dixon that stopped an equalising goal, brilliant interplay between John Campbell and Olly Leedham saw the former slide a pass across the six yard box to find Paul Brayson advance to hit a strong shot but the keeper was up to the task saving the shot and also saving the rebound shot from Josh Scott. All this had happened in the opening fifteen minutes with Penrith dominating possession whilst Benfield were trying to get to grips with the home teams quick movement and the visitors could have gone behind with a home team second goal. A fine switch of play in from the right found Bobby Atkinson who laid a brilliant pass into the path of his late arriving team mate Grant Davidson, who struck a well hit shot bringing a good save out of Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger for a corner. From the corner Penrith were unfortunate not to get a second goal, after the ball was cleared to the edge of the penalty area with Andy Murray-Jones controlling the ball before shooting on target only for Dylan McEvoy to clear the ball off the line.
Another chance went the way of the home team in the18th minute, Ben Jackson was the instigator of a fine move which saw him feed a pass to Barry Atkinson but his team mate made a hash of his effort hitting the ball well wide of the Benfield goal. Martyn Coleman as he been for the last few years was being a pest in an attacking sense and a foul on him in the 23rd minute gave him a free kick and a good shooting chance twenty yards out but he made a hash of his effort hitting the ball high over the bar. He was then denied in the 28th minute by the alertness of Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger, a long pass out of defence went over the top of a square Benfield defence with Coleman looking to gain advantage but the keeper was quick off the mark rushing out of his penalty area to clear the ball away from danger.With halftime approaching Benfield were starting to get a little bit more of a foothold in the game but without really causing any major problems to the visitors although the home team hadn’t been much better in an attacking sense so this left the score half time 1-0 to Penrith.
The second half almost got off to the lightening start of the first for as early as the 3rd minute a pass down the right wing saw Penrith striker Martyn Coleman control and roll a perfectly weighted square pass into the path of team mate who hit a shot just wide of the Benfield goal. Only two minutes later a quick free kick for Penrith caught the Benfield defence off guard allowing Bobby Atkinson the chance to shoot at goal. In the 52nd minute Benfield were only inches from getting an equalising goal, 18 year old Olly Leedham who was having a fine game in mid field was on the end of a quick throw out from Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger. After crossing the half way line he advanced forward to unleash a shot from 35 yards with the ball flying inches wide of the post to the Penrith keeper’s relief. Fifty four minutes had elapsed when Benfield got an equalising goal and what an effort it was, again it was OLLY LEEDHAM who led the way, gaining possession again this time not quite as far as his previous effort he let fly with the ball crashing into the top corner of the goal making the score 1-1. Benfield were now starting to dominate the game as Penrith had done in the first half, in the 70th minute Dylan McEvoy went close to getting a second goal for the visitors, a combination of Josh Scott and Paul Brayson saw the ball arrive at the feet of the young full back with his well hit shot going just wide of the target. It was the turn of fellow full back Matty Cornish in the 76th minute to shine, picking the ball up on the half way line he just kept on going advancing past several Penrith defenders before shooting bringing a good save out of Penrith keeper Stuart Dixon.
Benfield were pressing hard as the half went on and in the 81st minute were very unfortunate not to get a winning goal, John Campbell gained control of the ball from a Matty Cornish pass and advanced forward to hammer the ball past the Penrith custodian Stuart Dixon but unluckily for him his shot smashed off the Penrith Cross bar and away to safety. Two minutes later in the 83rd minute a bright run down the Benfield left by Ric Faustino saw him cross the ball similar to an Benfield attack in the first half with Coleman getting only the slightest touch on the ball and Grainger making an easy save to keep the score at 1-1 which was the final score.
Newcastle Benfield: Grainger, Cornish, McEvoy, Dummett, Scorgie, McNamee, Duncan, Leedham (Baxter), Brayson, Campbell, Scott (McCarthy)
Substitutes: Berhan, Fisher, Tobin
Man of the Match: Leedham