Thursday 14th December 2017
Kick off 730pm at Home
Sam Smiths park
Bottom of the table Synners journeyed north for this Thursday night fixture with only a skeleton squad, due to injuries and unavailability. When PAUL BRAYSON
swivelled on the edge of the area, then unleashed a venomous drive in off the underside of the bar to open the scoring with barely 30 seconds on the clock, the Billingham boys could well have been fearing the worst. However, Synners gave a creditable performance that belied their lowly league standing, but as is often the case for those at the foot of the table, they left empty handed for the long journey home.
Benfield could and should have doubled their lead on 4 minutes, when a deceptively languid Andrew Grainger clearance bypassed the opposition defence and left Paul Brayson in on goal. Sadly, his first-time effort from a tight angle flashed just wide of the far post. It took until the 25th minute for Synners to have an effort on goal, when in the space of 20 seconds Jordan Jewson twice found himself in excellent positions. Firstly, he broke the offside trap and closed in on goal, only for Andrew Grainger to block his effort. The loose ball was recycled and a cross from the left was headed just over by Jewson. Benfield reclaimed the ascendancy and Brayson was close to adding a second, after collecting a pass from Luke Carr and going around Adrian Beblowski, only to be foiled by the tight angle on his less-favoured left side. No matter; it was 2-0 in a minute.
James Novak worked some magic on the left and drove in a dangerous low cross that was deflected to RICHIE SLAUGHTER on the edge of the box. He showed great technique to fire a low volley into the net.
With half time approaching, Benfield appeared to be home and hosed already, until LEWIS WOOD advanced unchecked in midfield and hit an unstoppable 30-yard strike that flew into the top corner, to halve the deficit.
After the break, in plummeting temperatures, Benfield turned up the heat on Synners by launching wave after wave of attacks on the visitors’ goal. Unfortunately for the hosts, a combination of poor luck, wayward shooting and desperate defence conspired against them. Almost predictably, JORDAN JEWSON hit the Lions with a sucker punch, scoring the fourth quality goal of the game to tie things up at 2-2. After 58 minutes, he found himself free on the right apex of the box and he struck a sweet, dipping effort that nestled in the corner.
Benfield did not allow themselves to be put off their stride. On 63 minutes, Brayson’s audacious chip was hacked clear from on the line by Jamie Tunstall. As the game drew on, boss Mark Convery made a triple change, introducing Scott McCarthy, Dylan McEvoy and Alex Nesbit, to try and collect all three points. It worked when, after 75 minutes, Jake Orrell hit the by-line and stood up a perfect cross for LUKE CARR, who bundled the ball home for his first goal for the club and the winner on the night. It could and should have been more comfortable, especially when another trademark Brayson turn and cross saw the ball his the bar and go over, but 3-2 it ended and Benfield moved 4 places up the table to 13th.
Match report Ian Cusack