TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE…..Two headed goals by centre halves Jack Errington and Lewis Scorgie pushed Newcastle Benfield through to the next round of the Senior cup.
On paper this was to be the easiest game of the season for Newcastle Benfield with the visitors Alnwick Town being bottom of the second division and Benfield being one of the top form teams at the moment in the first division.
Newcastle Benfield made six changes to the team that won against North shields at the week end and it was a delight to see Kieran Wrightson return to the fold after his valiant fight with cancer.
Newcastle Benfield were going into the game in a confident manner having had a fine recent run of victories,The only problem for Benfield was football is played on grass and not on paper and this was proved as early as the 2nd minute when Alnwick were unfortunate not to take the lead. Awarded a corner the visitors took advantage of a lack of concentration from the home team to take a short corner to Tony Brown who then proceeded to hit a dangerous cross shot which looked as if it was flying into the top corner of the goal only for Jack Errington to head clear off the Benfield goal line.
Alnwick had started brightly and were showing no respect for their opponents and they had an other good goal scoring chance in the16th minute, a long ball down the centre of the pitch caused confusion in the Benfield defence as both central defenders hesitated in moving towards the ball allowing Alnwick striker Josh Hay to get behind the Benfield defence to lift the ball just over the Benfield goal.
The visitors were well on top and looked as if any team was going to score it would be them but they were indebted to their keeper, in the 21st minute Olly Leedham the Benfield mid fielder gained possession out on the left wing, cutting in he hit a well hit strike shot which produced a fine save from Rob Hodgson in the Alnwick goal.
A minute later and it was Alnwick again on the attack, a good pass from Josh Hay found team mate James Jackson who saw his low drive just go past the Benfield upright. The visitors came close again a minute later in the 23rd,a cross to the far post by James Jackson was headed clear by Lewis Scorgie only to drop to Lewis Robson who hit a decent volley just past the post.
Little had been seen of Benfield in an attacking sense and it was Alnwick again in the 32nd minute who came close to scoring,a corner was met by Josh Hay who saw his header cleared away to team mate Lewis Robson, he then hit a strong shot on target to be well saved by Benfield keeper Dan Nimmins.
For all their efforts on goal the game remained scoreless and then Alnwick were hit with a sucker punch in the 36th minute,
Benfield won a corner taken by Olly Leedham who floated the ball into the Alnwick six yard box, the ball was met by the towering LEWIS SCORGIE who headed firmly into the net making the score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
From the goal the game petered out towards half time with no real scoring chances leaving the score 1-0 to Benfield at halftime.
The visitors had had their chances in the first half when they were on top and could regret not opening their account as Newcastle Benfield could only improve on their first half performance.
The early stages of the second half were fairly even but you could see that Benfield were starting to take more control of the game and they should have doubled their score in the 60th minute when of all people Paul Brayson was put through in a 1 on 1 situation after timing his run to beat the offside trap.
The Alnwick keeper was up to the task in saving the first effort from the Benfield striker but the ball rebounded back to Brayson who was unable to finish and hit the keepers legs with the rebound.
Keeran wrightson was the next Benfield player to create a dangerous situation for Alnwick
when a minute later when his fine pass to Harrison who saw the Benfield defender fly down the flank to deliver a really fine cross which nearly managed to put Brayson on the scoresheet.
Newly signed Rhys Evans who had just joined Benfield from Washington was having a fine debut, in the 62nd minute he produced a wonder cross into the Alnwick penalty area but defender Ross Straughan was up to the task to defend the ball for a corner.
With 66 minutes having gone by recently signed Jake Orrell who had come on as substitute went on a dazzling dribble; after receiving a long clearance from Dan Nimmins in the Benfield goal he advanced forward but his shot on goal was not as good as his mazy run and went high over the Alnwick cross bar leaving the score at 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
A second goal for Benfield had to come with them now dominating the game and it did in the 71st minute,a short corner was played to Ryu Williamson who played the ball back to Paul Brayson who then put in a near post cross which was met by
JACK ERRINGTON who headed firmly into the net to make the score 2-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
(A case of Jack in the Box🙄)
ick then introduced ex Newcastle Benfield legend Stephen Young into the attack, Stephen was a member of the Newcastle Benfield team that last won the league title In a game that went to the last game of the season Benfield played bogey team Penrith away, with anything less than a win meaning that Consett would be champions.
Youngy got the winning goal with six minutes to go meaning that Benfield went top of the league for the first time in the season remaining there to win the league for the first time.<<<<
nty four minutes had passed when a defensive mistake by an Alnwick defender saw him give the ball away to Jake Orrell who then played in Scott McCarthy to be denied a goal by a good save from Rob Hodgson.
only a minute left of the game there was chaos in the Benfield penalty area with the ball bobbling all over the place, Benfield players were throwing themselves at the ball in order to block it at all costs and they did so holding out to win 2-0 and advance to the quarter final of the Northumberland senior cup.
M.O.M….RHYS EVANS < strong>HAD A BRILLIANT DEBUT< strong><<<<
enders view of him 😉)
Manager Mark Convery view
Very important win not a good performance I thought Alnwick caused us some problems but we showed good character and got through what I knew would be a difficult game.
Next Game Away
Match report Allan Young
Website/photos Steve Boyle