Match reports for West Allotment and Bishop Auckland written by Ian Cusack and Alan Young
Newcastle Benfield 1
West Allotment 0
Who would have thought that four teams within two miles of each other could be drawn against each other in the world’s oldest knockout competition? Amazingly this was the case when Newcastle Benfield played West Allotment and Heaton Stannington played Team Northumbria in the FA Cup. While less than a hundred gathered at Coach Lane, a far more substantial crowd converged on Sam Smith’s Park, where within five minutes Benfield had a good chance to open the scoring when Michael Riley squared the ball to John Campbell who should have done better after putting the ball wide of the goal. In the 22nd minute, after an excellent five man move, Benfield midfielder Ritchie Slaughter back for his first game after his transfer from Dunston saw his header cleared off the line by, would you believe it Carl Patterson, who had left Benfield to go to Allotment after 5/6 years of excellent service to the club.
The best chance of the game came, apart from the goal, came to West Allotment; a fine through ball by another ex-Benfield player Alex Berhan was controlled by Nicky Whitlaw who advanced on Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger. Although clear he put his shot wide of the goal when he should have scored. Other than this brief foray, you could see Allotment had come to get at least a replay as they tried to park the bus in defence and only had the odd sporadic attack. Newcastle Benfield came close on three occasions to opening the scoring; firstly a 30yard free kick from John Campbell brought a brilliant save from Allotment keeper Craig Whinham. Next it was fullback James Novak who hit a screamer from 30 yards just over the bar. As halftime approached Marc Donniger came even closer to opening the scoring when his well hit free kick hit the bar, leaving the score at half time 0-0.
The second half was 18 minutes old when a cross from the left by Allotment defender Chris Connor saw the ball bounce off the Benfield cross bar and away to safety. For the next 15 minutes it was pretty even, although Allotment never threatened the home team’s goal and it came as no surprise when Newcastle Benfield opened the scoring in the 76th minute.
Lewis Scorgie played a pass to John Campbell who then forwarded the ball to Michael Riley; the Benfield winger then advanced to the byline, crossing the ball into the path of substitute OLLY LEADHAM who side footed the ball into the net from close range making the score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield. It was the provider Michael Riley who nearly added to his team’s total when he cut in to hit a drive which the keeper fumbled only for a defender to clear. Benfield had introduced recent signing from Chester-le-Street Joe Hailes and he was unfortunate not to double the Benfield score after he went on a long brilliant run tormenting three defenders before seeing his effort saved leaving the final score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield. This victory saw the Lions advance to play Goole Town away in the next round on the 19th August. There were some good performances with five newcomers to the team but the returning Riley shone above all others.
Man of the Match: Michael Riley
Bishop Auckland 3
Newcastle Benfield 7
This opening league game of the season took Benfield back to Heritage Park; the location of a 4-4 draw last campaign on a day when Bishop Auckland were without a manager after the resignation of the previous incumbent. Such privations appeared not to discomfit the hosts as it only took five minutes for a home goal. Great skill and control from James Fairley set up ANDRE BENNETT who shot low past Andrew Grainger in the Benfield goal making it 1-0 to Bishops.
Moments later a Benfield got a free kick by James Novak was won in the air by Lewis Scorgie. The ball came off the bar to be put into the net by MARK DONNINGER making it 1-1. Within four minutes it was the turn of Benfield to take the lead. Ritchie Slaughter passed to Mark Donninger who threaded a fantastic through ball to JOHN CAMPBELL who confidently guided the ball past Carl Robinson in the Bishop's goal making it 2-1 to the visitors. Seven minutes later former Benfield player Michael Hoganson stormed down the left flank, before cutting in to hit a strong drive which was well saved by Grainger in the Benfield goal. Unfortunately the ball fell into the path of THOMAS McALOON who put the ball into the net from six yards, making the score 2-2. Within a minute Bishops were awarded a penalty after Benfield keeper Grainger brought down Andre Bennett giving PRIESTLEY GRIFFITHS the chance to regain the lead for Bishops from the penalty spot, which he did with aplomb sending the Benfield custodian the wrong making the score 3-2 to the home team.
It seemed like a lifetime before another goal was scored when in fact it was only twenty one minutes. It went to the visitors; a corner taken by Dylan McEvoy saw the keeper Carl Robinson flap at a ball which fell to RITCHIE SLAUGHTER just inside the penalty area and a strong left foot shot found the net making the score 3-3. Within a minute Benfield got a fourth goal; Paul Brayson gained possession just in the Bishop Auckland half. He then played a fantastic through ball into the path of JOHN CAMPBELL who placed the ball into the Bishops’ goal despite a despairing dive from Robinson making it 4-3 to Benfield which it was at half time.
It only took five minutes of the second half for the spectators to get the eighth goal, the same total as last year’s match. Again it went the way of the visitors. Marc Donninger crossed a long ball to Paul Brayson who backheeled the ball into the path of JOHN CAMPBELL, who then cut in to hit a low left foot shot making it 5-3 to Benfield and thus completing his own personal hat trick. The Spectators had no right to expect further goals, but another came in the 78th minute. Substitute Scott McCarthy got the ball and ran at Michael Hoganson; on advancing past him, he then pulled the ball back into the stride of MARK DONNINGER who scored his second goal and Newcastle Benfield's sixth making it 6-3.
The final nail in the coffin for Bishop Auckland came in the 85th minute. Again McCarthy was again involved when he beat his marker, before charging into the penalty area. He was just about to shoot when a brilliantly timed tackle by Matty Lovegreen diverted the ball for a corner. There was no relief for Bishops however as from the corner LEWIS SCORGIE climbed highest to head the ball home at the far post making the score line 7-3 to Newcastle Benfield, which was the final score.
Man of the Match: John Campbell
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