Newcastle Benfield v North Shields

North Shields Robins were the opponents in this F.A. Vase tie and were hoping to keep bob bob bobbing back along the Coast Road with a win against close neighbours. However, it was the pride of Newcastle Benfield Lions who ate them up and spat them out, on their way to victory.  Shields started brightly and in the first minute good play led to the ball arriving at the feet of Dean Holmes who advanced forward to produce a dangerous cross which was well cleared by Benfield midfielder Joe Hales. In the 4th minute it was Benfield’s turn when, after a good build up, the ball came into the possession of Luke Carrm who saw his dangerous cross well defended away from danger.

Play was ebbing and flowing back and forth although the visitors looked the most dangerous and it took a well-timed block for a corner by Benfield defender Laquan Esdaille to deny a Shields attack after a good one-two between Dean Holmes and Ryan Carr. Benfield should have opened the scoring in the 9th minute after a brilliant move involving Mark Turnbull, Luke Carr and Jake Orrell, who produced a pinpoint cross onto the head of Alex Nisbet. Despite having a free header, he put the ball over the cross bar when he should have at least hit the target and in fact should have scored. Newcastle Benfield came close again a minute later when a Ritchie Slaughter passed to Paul Brayson who then found Luke Carr and his effort went just inches wide of the goal. The clock was nearing the 15-minute mark when Shields had a great scoring opportunity; a fine pass down the left channel was controlled by Gareth Bainbridge who then saw his dangerous cross headed clear by the Benfield defence with the ball falling to the feet of Lee Mason on the edge of the Benfield penalty area but with a clear sight of goal he hit a glorious shooting chance high over the bar when he should have at least hit the target.

Benfield thought they had got the opening goal in the 17th minute; a corner taken by Paul Brayson ended up in the North Shields net but with the Benfield players celebrating a goal, the referee deemed that there had been a foul on Shields keeper Sean McCafferty. The referee stated after the game that a Benfield player hadn’t got out of the way of the keeper and had therefore been blocking his path. I didn’t realise in all my years in football that you had to be a gentleman and get out of the way to let the goal keeper collect the ball or allow a defender time to clear the ball away to safety. YouTube coverage showed it was the goal keeper who had come out to try and claim the ball and it was he that had run into a Benfield player. Without really hurting Benfield, North Shields were having more of the ball and came close to getting a goal in the 22nd minute. Lee Mason got the ball and advanced forward, as the Benfield defence retreated towards, allowing the Robins striker the chance to get a shot on target and only a good save by Andrew Grainger saved the day.

However, the opening goal went to Newcastle Benfield in the 25th minute; a low corner was cleared out of the Shields penalty area to be controlled by PAUL BRAYSON.

After taking a couple of paces forward, he let fly from 25 yards with his low drive flying into the net past the despairing dive of Sean McCafferty, making the score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield. Dean Holmes, as always against Benfield, was proving a handful and it was from a foul on him that North Shields drew level in the 29th minute; the incident occurred on the edge of the Benfield penalty area, up stepped Craig McFarlane to hit a low drive. With the Benfield defensive wall jumping up expecting a higher shot at goal, the ball was deflected with Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger having no chance of saving, making the score  1-1.

Just after the half hour mark, only the bravery and anticipation of Benfield custodian Andrew Grainger

saved the day for his team, following a break by Dean Holmes. The Shields winger put a through ball into the direction of Lee Mason and it was only the alertness of the Benfield keeper who advanced to the edge of his penalty area to dive on top of the ball saving the day for the home team. North Shields then came close in the 39th minute when Ex Benfield player Gary Ormston fired in a strong drive bringing a fine save from Grainger. A minute later and a bad tackle by Lee Mason on a Benfield player saw him get a yellow card and also cause a commotion with players from both side pushing and shoving; once again Lewis Scorgie was at the forefront of it and his reaction got him a yellow card. Things then calmed down and half time arrived with the score1-1.

Only two minutes of the second half had elapsed when the third goal of the game came, and it went to Newcastle Benfield; a run down the right flank by Mark Turnbull saw his cross, which should have been defended to safety, cause panic between North Shields defenders Joe Robson and Stuart Donnison, who only cleared the ball as far as PAUL BRAYSON. He gleefully sidefooted the ball past the Shields keeper Sean McCafferty to make the score 2-1 to Newcastle Benfield.

Both teams were settling down well in the second half in what was a good game to watch and play was pretty even, although it was the home team who looked more threatening but were not giving the visitors any major concerns; that was until the 69th minute the ball was played out to Benfield left back James Novak. He advanced down the wing to the North Shields penalty area before producing a delicious near post cross to find BRAYSON rampaging through to hit the ball into the net for both his and Benfield’s third goal, making it 3-1 to the Lions. Within a minute build up between Joe Hailes and Jake Orrell saw the latter fouled with a free kick being awarded out on the flank. Benfield sent both of their central defenders up with the ball half cleared to Lacquan Esdaille who, from six yards, managed to miss the target, leaving the score at 3-1.

To be fair to the Robins they didn’t throw the towel in and only a brilliantly timed tackle in the 72nd minute by James Novak prevented the ball reaching the far post from a very dangerous centre. In the 76th minute Mark Turnbull went down the Benfield right and crossed the ball which was gathered by Brayson but this time his effort went high over the bar. The home team were in control with all the defenders doing well and it looked likely that the next goal would come from the home team but in fact it was Shields in the final minute who came close to getting a second goal, when a long cross to the far post was headed back to substitute Dan Wilson who put his effort wide of the goal. Full time soon arrived with Newcastle Benfield winning 3-1 and advancing into the fourth round proper after a brilliant all-round team display.


Man of the Match: Paul Brayson

Manager Mark Convery views

Apart from a couple of chances North Shields had in a pretty even first half

We totally dominated the Second half and the lads really deserved the victory.

Great win but out thoughts are straight onto Wednesdays Senior Cup Game.


Thanks to Stan the groundsman for his valiant effort to get this game on plus the help of some Benfield and Shields fans who assisted on the Morning of the game. 👍⚽️

Footage of the game can be found on North Shields tv link below however why not get yourself along to Non League football games great value for £6



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