After last week’s debacle at Marske, it seemed it would be difficult to pick a more difficult team to play against than one of the in-form teams, in the shape of Jarrow Roofing, especially as they were undefeated in their last eight games. An injury ruled Scott Mcarthy out, but a welcome return from injury gave Josh Scott a start, while new signing from Washington Ursene Mouanda made an instant debut the day after signing. A shock announcement was that one of our top scorers John Campbell was on the substitute’s bench.
Roofing had a scoring chance as early as the first minute of the game; a long cross field pass by Ross Toward found the dangerous Dennis Knight free. The Jarrow striker controlled the ball immediately but disappointed with his left foot shot high over the bar. Roofing had surprised a lot of the spectators as they started with their normal centre back Dan Kirkup up front and prolific goal scorer Paul Chow in a deep-lying, defensive midfield position he obviously doesn’t like judging by his performance.
Benfield’s first shooting chance came in the 15th minute when they were awarded a free kick 30 yards out up stepped Brayson to hammer a low shot well saved by Lewis Brass. Although he saved the shot he was unable to hold on to the ball but to his relief no Benfield player followed the ball in. The game was pretty equal but not full of much quality or excitement and time moved on to the 35th minute before anything worth writing about occurred. Roofing won a free kick 20 yards out which was taken by Calvin Smith; although Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger saved the shot he could not prevent it from going for a corner which was cleared away. Time seemed to be passing very slowly with nothing for either teams supporters to get excited about,but the visitors should have gone ahead in the 42nd minute. A cross to the far post found Dan Kirkup all alone with a free head at goal but to his and his team mates dismay he headed over the cross bar.
The last two minutes of the half brought two shooting chances for Benfield. In the 43rd minute good interplay between Matty Cornish and Ursene Mouanda gave Brayson a sharp chance to get a snap shot away, which was well saved by Lewis Brass. It was the turn of the home team on the stroke of halftime to spurn a good goal scoring chance; a free kick out on the Roofing right was taken by Dylan McEvoy. Floating the ball to the far post he found Stephen Tobin free in a manner similar to the Jarrow Roofing miss and it had the same conclusion with the tall defender heading the ball wide, leaving the score at 0-0 which it was at half time.
Benfield started quickly in the second half and could have gone ahead in the 50th minute, when a long free kick taken by Dylan McEvoy found Paul Brayson who, although under pressure from a defender, managed to get his shot away, unluckily hitting the side netting.
The opening goal of the game came a minute later; a long pass was flicked on to DAN KIRKUP who had been having a cracking no holds barred tussle with Benfield defender Stephen Tobin. After bringing the ball down, he fired home via the post for a fine goal of which he will probably never better in the rest of his career making it 1-0 to Jarrow Roofing. It could have been two to the visitors in the 53rd minute; a free kick awarded to Jarrow Roofing saw Dennis Knight step up to hit the ball inches wide of the Benfield goal. It took the brilliance of Jarrow Roofing keeper Lewis Brass to keep his team in front in the 60th minute, as Dylan McEvoy took a corner out on the right which was met with a bullet header by Stephen Tobin but to the dismay of the Benfield defender, the keeper brilliantly tipped the ball for a corner which came to nothing.
In a fairly even game, it looked like Benfield were just starting to get on top in an attacking sense; this was due to John Campbell coming on to partner Paul Brayson who was playing up front with little support. Campbell was soon in on the action and he was unfortunate not to get an equaliser for his team in the 66th minute. McEvoy floated a ball into the Roofing penalty area where Campbell brought the ball down on his chest to drive the ball inches wide of the Roofing goal. Benfield almost equalised in the 69th minute. Matty Cornish on receiving the ball from a throw in flashed a low drive across the Roofing goal area finding Paul Brayson who delicately flicked the ball, with it keeping the Roofing keeper alert.
The equaliser wasn’t long in coming however. Lewis Scorgie cleared a long ball out of defence and Roofing, who were playing a high back line and trying to get the Benfield players offside, on this occasion got it completely wrong with ace goalscorer PAUL BRAYSON timing his run to perfection. After gaining the ball he outpaced a defender before going around the Jarrow Roofing keeper to roll the ball into an empty net for his 50th goal in all competitions this season making the score 1-1. It looked at this stage that if there was going to be another goal it would more likely go to the home team, although it didn’t turn out that way as the visitors almost got a second goal in the 85th minute; substitute Lee Kerr got on the end of a free kick flicking the ball to Dennis Knight who saw his shot hit the side netting.
Full time was nearing with the home team starting to get the jitters as they seem to concede regularly in the last few minutes of their games but to the delight of the home supporters it was Benfield’s turn to get a winning goal in the dying minutes. A long goal kick taken by Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger found DYLAN McEVOY thirty yards from goal. He went to hit a left foot shot but instead he checked back to hit a right foot shot which flew past Jarrow Roofing keeper Lewis Brass into the top corner of the goal making the score 2-1 to Newcastle Benfield, which was the full time score.