West Allotment Celtic 1
Newcastle Benfield 3
West Allotment Celtic 1-3 Newcastle Benfield
Newcastle Benfield advanced into the quarter-finals of the Brooks Mileson Northern league Cup following a comfortable 3-1 away win at West Allotment Celtic.
Benfield took a two-goal lead inside the first 20 minutes, with Dale Pearson opening the scoring before Scott McCarthy fired home to double the Lions’ advantage.
Despite the lack of clear-cut chances for Allotment, the Division Two halved the deficit through Gilberto Chapim’s second half strike before Paul Brayson sealed Benfield the win two minutes from time with a clinical penalty.
Going into the cup tie, Benfield were hoping to extend their unbeaten run to 12 matches under Tom Wade, who has yet to lose a game as manager, as well as achieving their eight consecutive victory in all competitions.
The Lions got off to a strong start, with Mackenzie Heaney’s long-range effort rattling the crossbar from 25 yards out in the early stages of the game.
Benfield were not to be denied though and, after 13 minutes, Pearson gave Benfield the lead. After gliding past an Allotment player Pearson fired an effort from the edge of the box, which flew beyond goalkeeper Finlay Hodgson into the bottom right corner.
Six minutes later, Benfield’s McCarthy got his name on the scoresheet. After winning the ball back from their opponents, Heaney played a ball towards Brayson, before the veteran striker sent a delightful pass into the path of McCarthy, who only needed one touch before drilling the ball into the net.
The difference in divisions took its toll as West Allotment, who continued to battle hard and attempted to make it difficult for their Division One opponents, struggled to force Dan Nimmins into making a serious save.
However, in the second half, Allotment were rewarded for their efforts as midfielder Gilberto Chapim pulled a goal back, riding his luck by avoiding a tackle from a group of Benfield defenders before poking the ball into the bottom left corner to give Allotment hope.
Benfield cancelled out the home side’s chances of forcing the game into a penalty shoot-out as the Lions were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes. As Brayson’s strike was blocked, the ball landed into the feet of Jake Orrell and, although his attempt sailed over the bar, the 21-year-old was bundled over by Tony Lucas in the process.
The penalty was dispatched expertly by Brayson, slamming his spot kick into the roof of the net to grab his 14th goal of the campaign and complete a professional win for Newcastle Benfield to keep their chances of lifting silverware this season alive.
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Match Report and Highlights Luke Vinton
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