Newcastle Benfield made the mid-week journey to Teesside with Billingham Synthonia the hosts. The Synners now play their home games on the ground previously owned by Norton & Stockton Ancients who unfortunately for football and the Northern League went into liquidation. Synners got off to a bright star and in the first minute a pass down the right found Chris Salmon who delivered a dangerous cross into the Benfield penalty area; fortunately for the visitors it was cleared away to safety. Eight minutes passed with Dylan McEvoy being inches from getting an opening goal for the visitors, when excellent link up play involving Leedham, Nisbet and Brayson saw the young midfielder gain possession and rifle a low drive just past the post.
Billingham had a big strong centre forward in the shape of Callum Hassan and he was proving to be a handful for the Benfield defenders, in the11th minute he deceived Benfield defender Marc Dummett who sold himself in the tackle, this left Hassan with Lewis Scorgie who he went past to shoot at goal only for the Benfield captain Mark Turnbull to appear and make a brilliant slide into the goal, clearing the ball away to safety. Turnbull was then involved in a dangerous attack when he produced a fine cross which was met by the head of Mark Donninger but luckily for the home team, it was deflected away to safety.
The home team then got a deserved goal in the 22nd minute although with a slight bit of luck; a low cross into the box by JORDAN JEWSON evaded every one and ended up in the Benfield goal via the far post making the score 1-0 to Billingham Synthonia. The home team were very unfortunate not to double their lead in the 26th minute, a long through ball saw the Benfield keeper leave his goal area to clear the ball away, he was nowhere near the ball and can count himself lucky that Callum Hassan got just the faintest of touches on the ball putting it wide of the Benfield goal. Grainger was then the hero for Benfield when in the 36th minute he reacted well to a fierce drive from Jordon Jewson just managing to tip the ball around the post. Half time was soon approaching with Benfield unfortunate not to get back on terms; a long pass by Mark Turnbull saw the ball look as if it was cleared but it hit Brayson and flew into the side netting, then Olly Leedham ran onto a square pass and hit a 1st time shot which crashed off the Billingham post away to safety leaving the half time score 1-0.
It was OLLY LEEDHAM who was in the thick of things again; within two minutes he was given a half chance to shoot at goal but it went wide. He was not to be denied however as a minute later he got the equalising goal for Newcastle Benfield. A long high ball from Lewis Scorgie was allowed to bounce causing confusion. The ball was half cleared out to the wing to be delivered back into the danger area where the Benfield mid fielder drove a low left foot shot into the net making the score 1-1. Fifty seven minutes had passed when Marc Donninger after being supplied with the ball via McEvoy and Joe Hailes drove the ball just wide of the upright. A third goal of the game came in the 67th minute and it went to the home team; a mistake by Benfield captain Mark Turnbull saw him lose the ball in midfield to JORDON JEWSON who advanced forward in a one on one with Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger where he confidently slid the ball past him to make it 2-1 to Billingham Synthonia.
Newcastle Benfield had a great chance to equalise in the 80th minute; ace goal scorer Paul Brayson was played in after fine play between substitute Dan Taylor and Mark Donninger advancing forward he saw Billingham keeper Adrian Beblowsi make a fine save from the Benfield striker. Two minutes later in the 82nd minute, a flowing move saw the ball moved through the Synners midfield arriving at the feet of Benfield skipper MARK TURNBULL who crossed the ball to the far post with the ball in an identical manner to the Synners opener, ending up in the net with everyone missing getting a touch on the ball making the score 2-2.
With five minutes left a long pass found Dan Taylor who laid the ball off to Dylan McEvoy; unfortunately the Benfield player just over ran the ball which was cleared away to safety and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Man of the Match: Joe Hailes