Whickham fc 0
Newcastle Benfield 0
Result after penalties 5-4 to the Lions
Match report by Allan Young
Having already been successful in the last two matches both of them cup games Newcastle Benfield were hoping for a third success against strong opponents in the shape of Whickham. The season could have been nearly over before the end of the year had the Lions been beaten in the Northumberland Senior Cup and F.A.Vase as they would have had only the league to deal with, thankfully they won against Alnwick Town and Bedlington Terriers in the same week to keep the season alive.
Newcastle Benfield came flying out of the traps and had it not been for a great save by Whickham keeper John Mordley in the 2nd minute from a strong header by Alex Nisbet; Benfield would have been one up but had to be content with a corner which came to nothing.
Seven minutes had elapsed and unusually for Benfield Paul Brayson missed a glorious chance to get the first goal of the game,a fantastic pass by Jake Orrell saw the Benfield striker half control with it slightly running away from him, he did however manage to get a shot away but this was saved with the ball rebounding back to him when he had a better chance but he missed the target.
Benfield were then were unlucky not to get a goal when in the 15th minute Mark Turnbull took a free kick from way out wide on the flank to which Lewis Scorgie took a liking to and his strong header was destined for the net but Whickham defender Owen Lancaster did well to head the ball away to safety off the line.
Twenty four minutes had gone when a great pass out wide found Ryu Williamson,he advanced forward to pass to team mate Jake Orrell; he in turn played the ball quickly to Paul Brayson but his effort produced an easy save for keeper John Mordey.
Little had been seen in an attacking sense of the Whickham team but in the 25th minute Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger had to be alert to finger tip the ball over the bar for a corner from a dangerous shot from Whickham’s Joe Mole.Two minutes later and Whickham had a glorious chance to open the scoring,a long pass thru the middle looked easy for the Benfield keeper to come out of his area and clear the ball away but he sliced the ball with it falling to the striker James Norton.The Whickham forward had a great opportunity to hit the ball into the empty goal but he decided to try and play a team mate in which came to nothing and a good scoring chance was lost.
A carbon copy of the 15th minute event when Benfield had a header cleared off the line occurred again in the 36th minute, it was defender Owen Lancaster again who headed the ball away to safety this time from the head of Lewis Scorgie leaving the score @ 0-0.
Three minutes later and Lewis Scorgie missed the best chance of half when he had a free header from six yards from a Jordan Laidler free kick but he headed wide of the goal and a glorious chance to score was missed. A minute later another chance was by passed when Paul Brayson was put through but he failed to get a shot away and was disposed with the ball cleared out of danger..
In the 43rd minute Whickham had a decent chance when Kyle Wharton produced a well hit shot which brought out a decent save from Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger leaving the score at half time 0-0.
As in the first half Newcastle Benfield almost got a goal in the 1st minute of the half, an excellent move down the left saw Joe Hales cut in to shoot at goal with John Mordey in the Whickham goal making a fine save. It took another twenty minutes before any attack of note occurred and it went the way of the visitors, a free kick from out on the left found the head of Alex Nisbet who saw his flicked header go just wide of the upright.
Although still in the game Whickham were not really threatening Benfield in an attacking source and it was the visitors again who came close in the 30th minute when a pass from substitute Scott McCarthy found Joe Hales again in the penalty area and his cross shot was well saved for a corner.
With full time ebbing close Whickham came close to getting a goal, in the 89th minute a lack of concentration allowed the home team to play a short corner to substitute Ian Robson, had it not been for a save from Grainger it would have been curtains for Newcastle Benfield. The first minute of added on time almost brought a winner for the hosts,a corner came in from the right, a Whickham header seemed destined for the net until Jack Errington popped up to head the ball to safety.This left the game at 0-0 with penalties looming, from the penalty shootout NEWCASTLE BENFIELD WON 5-4 and progressed to the next round.