Guisborough Town 0
Newcastle Benfield 4
I thought we defended well in the first half against a very strong wind and a good Guisborough front line.
Second half we kept the ball very well and carved a lot of openings out and obviously when you create chances and have Paul Brayson up front your always going to score goals.
Goals and Guisborough Town Manager Gary Forster views courtesy of Guisborough Town.
Match Report by Ian Cusack
Photos provided by Daniel Clark
Website co ordinator Steve Boyle
When the EBAC Northern League Division 1 fixtures were first published, a small cheer was heard emanating from the environs of NE6 4NU as Benfield had been handed a free weekend on the Saturday before Christmas. However, this changed when Guisborough Town’s appeal to the FA against their relegation to Division 2 was upheld and Benfield were presented with a trip to North Yorkshire. The distance and date were not the only causes for pre-match trepidation, as the previous two visits had seen the Lions pegged back from 2-0 up to draw, conceding deep into injury time on both occasions. Thankfully today’s victory was so straightforward that once the lead had been established on the quarter of an hour, Guisborough were of no danger at all.
With manager Mark Convery completing his two-game stadium ban, assistant Craig “The Bruise” Heward again stepped up to the mark and fair play to Bruiser, he got his selection, his substitutions and his tactics absolutely spot on. With Lacquan Esdaille a booking away from a ban, the likeable Mancunian was replaced by returning Gateshead loanee, the accomplished Jon Mellish. Alex Nisbet was unavailable for family reasons and so Kieran Wrightson, who had been struggling with a sickness bug, continued his return to full fitness by starting in the holding role. Rhys Evans came into midfield, allowing Luke Carr to adopt a more central role, while Jake Orrell dropped to the bench.
In the opening moments, the large and imposing Priorymen started on the front foot, with Mark Robinson heading wide from a corner. Benfield responded quickly and Luke Carr was denied by on-rushing Guisborough keeper Jordan Nixon, having accepted an astute pass from Paul Brayson. On 16 minutes that man Brayson did what he’s been doing for quarter of a century now; played in by a sublime pass from Kieran Wrightson, who had his most accomplished game since his return to the side, Brassy timed his run to perfection, despite the loud and inaccurate moaning from home quarters, slipping the ball past Nixon with consummate ease. Nixon had better look 6 minutes later, when he sprang to his left to palm away a strong effort by Joe Hailes. After 30 minutes, Andrew Grainger made his only serious save of the game, spreading himself well to block Nathan Steel’s shot. For the rest of the half, it was the visitors asking the questions; unfortunately, Brayson’s 38th minute effort was deflected wide and Carr’s delicious bending effort in the final seconds before the break drifted past the post, making the score 1-0 to Benfield at the break.
Following the resumption, the game saw one-way traffic towards the home goal for the rest of the encounter. Nixon denied Brayson with a diving stop low to his right and Wrightson volleyed a half-cleared James Novak cross a shade over the crossbar before Guisborough pressed the self-destruct button. Defender Mark Robinson was shown a straight red card for a foul on Wrightson that was two-footed, off the ground, studs up and nowhere near the ball. Fairly soon Wrightson had to be withdrawn, with Scott McCarthy coming on instead. The pacey wide man made an immediate impact, being hauled down as he ran into the box. Brayson picked the ball up and fired high past Nixon. The veteran striker almost had his hat trick moments later, but shot into the side netting when fed by Mark Turnbull. Brayson’s treble was completed from the spot after 86 minutes when Joe Hailes was unceremoniously hauled to the floor, close to the dead ball line. The scoring was completed in the last minute, when Brayson executed an outrageous chip that Phillipe Albert would have been proud of, rounding off a solid and satisfying 4-0 win that approached a rout.
Man of the Match: Brayson