Newcastle Benfield progressed through to the next Round of the Emirates Fa Cup with an
Oli Leedham winner against West Allotment Celtic fc.
Manager Mark Converys Views on today's game
Match Programme Ian Cusack
I’d like to welcome everyone to Sam Smith’s Park for the first game of the 2017/2018 season, which sees the start of the long and tortuous Road to Wembley; only another dozen games for the winners of this conquest to negotiate and they’ll be in the final. The next round will see the winners of this contest away to Goole in a fortnight. Our opponents today are our long-time local rivals West Allotment Celtic. With the elevation of Team Northumbria to Northern League Division 1, Allotment have been supplanted in their status as nearest rivals, but it is brilliant news that WAC are still in existence. Relegation to Division 2 was seemingly inevitable from the start of last season for the Hoops, but the very existence of the club itself was put in question, following a disagreement over the terms of their lease at Whitley Park. However, at the eleventh hour and with their Northern League resignation provisionally tendered, the chance of moving to Blue Star’s former Wheatsheaf Ground, now known as Druid Park presented itself. Thankfully the red tape was successfully negotiated and we are delighted to welcome all players and officials of West Allotment to Benfield. Let’s hope you do the business on the field, after today of course, and we see you back here in a league game next season.
Since the end of last season, we’ve said goodbye to the following players: Moussa Bahkti (returned to France), Steven Baptist, Michael Baxter, Michael Coghlan, Mark Cook, Matthew Cornish (signed for Whitley Bay), Callum Duncan, Mechack Kanda (now with Hebburn), Brad Lowes, Tom McNamee (still in America), Ursene Muamba (gained a pro contract with Kilmarnock), Matty Parker (went to Washington), Josh Scott (gone to Consett), Jake Trodd (Team Northumbria) and Stephen Tobin (Dunston UTS). However, we have welcomed the following 9, whose brief pen portraits can be found later in the programme: Aaron Brogden, Mark Donninger, Matthew Grieve, Sam Grievson, Joe Hailes, Alex Nisbet, James Novak, Michael Riley (again!!) and Sam Taylor. I’d like to welcome all the new players and wish them all the very best with us, as well as thanking those who’ve departed for their efforts; on a personal level, especially Tobes who was a good bloke as well as a solid and reliable, no nonsense stopper.
The pre-season friendlies saw us remain undefeated, beating Esh Winning 3-2 on the school 4G pitch, with a picture book free kick from Dylan McEvoy, Forest Hall 6-1 on the school grass pitch, drawing 4-4 away to Blyth FC in a game of 3 farcical penalties, before returning to winning ways with an emphatic dismantling of Killingworth YPC 5-1, where Brassy scored what will probably be the goal of the season with an audacious lob from 40 yards, then a 2-1 victory over Durham City at their new home of Willington, thumping Wallsend Boys’ Club 4-0 with a glorious Dylan McEvoy treble and easing to a comfortable 3-1 success at Whickham. Friendlies mean nothing, but if they did, we’d be in with a canny shout for the Alliance title…
After today, providing there isn’t a replay at Druids Park on Wednesday, we will be at home to Seaham Red Star on our new regular home midweek evening of THURSDAY, before a trio of away trips to Bishop Auckland (Saturday 12th), West Auckland (Tuesday 15th) and Penrith (Saturday 19th), though that game is subject to FA Cup commitments. As ever, updates will be available on Twitter at @NcleBenfield and our new account, courtesy of the freshly arrived media savvy trainee journalist Luke Vinton, @NcleBenfieldTV not to mention our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf14kDsDjD7xJhbmIt4BCSA
Enjoy the game!
The Lions have been drawn away to Goole AFC looking to play the fixture on the 19th August 2017
We will be travelling to Goole AFC
via bus if your interested get in attending get in touch.