Backed by a large and vociferous following, Newcastle Benfield came from a goal down to deservedly beat Goole from the Evo Stik League Division One North to secure a place in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round. However, the Lions had to endure a late scare when, after Lewis Scorgie was adjudged to have committed a foul in the area, Goole’s number 9 Lewis Dennison blazed his spot kick over the bar.
The game kicked off at Goole’s wonderfully named, charmingly antique Victoria Pleasure Ground in front of a crowd of 143, with over 50 having travelled to support Benfield. Unfortunately the first half was a dire spectacle for Lions fans as the home side, with the benefit of the blustery wind behind their backs, enjoyed far more possession. That said, the first shot of note was after 17 minutes when Michael Riley flashed a drive just wide of the post. Riley was again having a great game for the Lions and his run into the area almost brought the opening goal after 33 minutes, with his superb cross being deflected over his own bar by Macauley Parkinson with Paul Brayson ready to pounce.
At the other end, Matty Grieve was in imperious form, stopping all Goole attacks in their tracks. Although Andrew Grainger made two eye-catching saves from long distance Glyn Cotton efforts, turning one behind low to his right and catching another superbly, high to his left. With the score 0-0 at the break, Benfield supporters could have been quietly confident that the second half would belong to them, though that man Cotton dented Wembley dreams by nodding the home side ahead from a corner after 47 minutes. However, other than the late penalty, Goole were not to trouble the visitors defence again during the game. Instead, it was up to John Campbell and Paul Brayson to scare the wits out of home players.
Just after the hour Campbell volleyed home Brayson’s astute pass, for a goal comparable to Andy Cole’s screamer against Chelsea in September 1994 at the Leazes End. Ten minutes later, an utterly unmarked Paul Brayson nodded home from inside the 6 yard box following a Dylan McEvoy corner, giving the Lions a lead they would maintain until full time for a thoroughly merited victory.
Man of the Match: Matty Grieve