Washington fc 1 Newcastle Benfield 3

Mark Convery view-

A really tough high tempo game that I thought we just about edged it but not taking anything away from Washington I thought they were a very good side.

Craig Heward view-

A good win when not at our best against a good young side who like to knock the ball around, nice to get the win when not playing at our full potential it just goes to show we are heading in the right direction looking to climb up the league after a decent FA cup run.

Match Report By Ian Cusack

Having played 4 successive away games, a fifth in a row was no privation for Newcastle Benfield. On the second anniversary of Mark Convery’s accession to the manager’s role at Sam Smith’s Park, his team secured their fourth successive away victory, in three different competitions, with the minimum of fuss.

While the performance may not have been as stellar as the pomp on display at Dunston the previous Saturday, this was good enough for a side suffering three changes because of work issues.

Andrew Grainger was replaced between the sticks by

Dan Nimmins,

who gave another assured display. The bed-bound Ryu Williamson had his place taken by the returning Scott McCarthy, fresh from a fact-finding Welsh visit for the Antony Joshua fight. Finally, Marc Dummett’s delayed arrival saw Lacquan Esdaille take his place in the centre of defence, where the imposing Mancunian stopper showed his worth by turning in a Man of the Match performance.

However, things did not immediately go to plan. A swift, early dart down the left wing by former Benfield youngster Matty Parker saw the visitors switch off, assuming the ball had gone out of play. It may well have, but with the assistant referee behind play, no flag was forthcoming. Instead Parker cut the ball back to the impressive JAKE PICKARD who fired past Nimmins after only 5 minutes. An almost identical move 4 minutes later almost presented Pickard with his second, but his shot across goal struck the inside of the post before bouncing clear. This would not have doubled the home side’s lead, as Benfield were already level. Within a minute of going behind Jake Orrell, as impressive tonight as he was on his debut at Dunston, tore down the Washington right before slinging in a devastating cross that wrongfooted the entire home defence and allowed Joe Hailes to complete a lung-bursting run and bravely knock the ball home at the back post for his second goal in successive games, showing the young wideman is really finding his feet in the team.

Of course, a Benfield performance would not be complete without some input from a gentleman of slightly more advanced years. In the space of two minutes around the half hour mark, Paul Brayson was twice denied by heroic Washington defending. Firstly, a low drive was palmed away by Dan Gladstone, only for it to hit home stopper Michael Laws, but the veteran defender managed to hack the ball away before it bobbled over the line. From the resultant corner, Brayson’s clean strike was deflected up and over the bar when it looked a certain goal. One last curling Orrell effort that drifted wide marked the end of the entertainment and the teams went in level.

On 53 minutes, Brassy was unceremoniously upended on the edge of the Washington box. After a delay in getting the wall back the requisite distance, PAUL BRAYSON

arrowed a devastating shot low into the very corner of the net, to score what was effectively the winning goal. Indeed, for the rest of the game Washington had nothing that could be construed as a serious effort on goal, mainly due to the superb shifts put in by the visiting defence, especially Lacquan Esdaille, who was a colossus in the air all night.  Benfield, by way of contrast, saw Gladstone spread himself well to deny Orrell and Laws get in the way of another Brayson rocket. Gladstone’s best save came on 80 minutes, when a delightful passing move between Hailes and Brayson saw the latter’s firm shot superbly dealt with by the Washington keeper, who blotted his copybook with a weak, hurried clearance that fell to RICHIE SLAUGHTER

in the centre circle. The midfielder took a touch to steady himself, them calmly chipped the ball into the unguarded net, to make the final score 3-1 to Benfield.

Man of the Match: Esdaille

Due to Halloween our normal photographer/video coverage editor was unavailable but will return on Saturday. He may have been stitched up last night though 😉👇

Hopefully our Northern League friends Washington F.C. will forward the video highlights of the game to show you a fantastic entertaining match.

A Fans View of the game …….

The evening started with a busy journey heading towards the Wear side area in heavy traffic due to 44,000 Sunderland fans travelling to the Stadium of Light😂 , only kidding South Shields were at home so most of the Sunderland fans now watch them and were probably going there.

The evening didn’t start too well having only been to Washington’s ground during the day I found the Nissan plant a bit of a Maze at the night time and was nearly chaperoned onto a low loader bound for a distant land.

Upon entry to the ground I enquired about a Match programme only to be told by the Lass on the door that there wouldn’t be one. I found this disappointing but in modern day Non League football most teams struggle with finances and I can only presume it would be cheaper to take a fine from the League than produce a programme for a midweek fixture.

The clubhouse is impressive and overlooks the pitch with an aerial view from the bar (a few of the lads managed to watch the whole game from that location) My own experience wasn’t a good one as I managed to sit on a dodgy chair before the game started which Snapped leaving me on the floor in an embarrassed state luckily with only 2 witnesses the only thing broken on me was my pride.

The game started with both teams playing decent football on the deck with quick controlled passing and a delight to watch.

Washington took the lead after the Benfield players stopped as the ball had went out of play after an indecisive decision by the officials led to Washy going 1 nil up. (The golden rule always play to the whistle).

Joe Hailes managed to pull one back after a lightning burst of speed and a decent cross by Jake Orell which was right in front of an onlooking Gateshead FC manager Steve Watson. (Nice to see a local Nufc lad landing a good position and we wish him well).

With the game at 1-1 I couldn’t understand why the Washy keeper tried to slow the game down by not picking the ball up and waiting to be closed down by the forwards i found this infuriating as there was still 60 minutes to play and the game had been end to end and entertaining. I can only think one of his friends may have had the game down as a score draw on his footy coupon😏.

Half time arrived and the Scran van loomed I noticed one of our supporters had indulged in a pie and another in Curry and chips. The latter took my eye and at a respectable £3 including a can of coke i was impressed with the catering and looked forward to breaking another chair in the future😂

The game restarted with Brassy being played through and fouled by the last man only to find that a yellow card was the outcome and a free kick which Brassy curled in the bottom corner. Washington continued to press looking for the equaliser and an influx of footballs suddenly appeared having being scarce previously. However a long distant strike/pass (the panel is still out) by Ritchie Slaughter managed to hit the net and put the Lions 3-1 up.

The final whistle came along and it was back to the club house for a £3-20 pint of worthy and a bit scran.

A good evening of football both teams played decent football thanks to Washington Fc for their hospitality and hope they progress up the league as their current position looks false having watched them play tonight.👏⚽️

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