Two days after he was announced as the new Benfield manager, Stuart Elliott adopted a watching brief at Chester Le Street Town’s tidy and welcoming Moor Park as the latest Paul Brayson interregnum ended with an emphatic victory in this Brookes Mileson Northern League Cup quarter final tie. The result was not in doubt after Jake Orrell’s early brace, where he twice got the better of home custodian Maximilian Coombes with powerful drives from the right side of the area. The opener on 7 minutes saw him run on to a loose ball and fire home emphatically, while the second capped off a flowing move orchestrated by Dean Holmes bursting down the left and Dale Pearson, who revelled in a central striking role, setting Orrell free.
In between the two goals, Andy Grainger had been forced into an instinctive save, parrying centre forward Clarkson’s head high snapshot. The same combination were involved at the midpoint of the half, when Grainger went acrobatically full length to tip a header round the post. Benfield almost grabbed a third on the half hour when Dale Pearson’s mazy dribble through the penalty area resulted in him working an ideal shooting opportunity, only for him to completely miss his kick and see the chance squandered.
Immediately after the break, Pearson made amends. Straight from kick off Dean Holmes bombed down the wing and played Brayson in, only for Coombe to make an astonishing reaction save. The ball ended up at Jake Orrell’s feet and his precise cross was forced home from close in by Pearson.
Brayson almost got his name on the score sheet on the hour, when he fired a free kick from 20 yards inches over the angle of bar and post. The game seemed to be ambling to a conclusion when Chester Le Street grabbed a consolation. Andy Grainger raced from his line to clear a loose ball, but his attempt was blocked by home player Daniel Candlish, who then turned the loose ball home. If the Cestrians thought this was a lifeline, they were to be disabused of the notion almost immediately, when substitute James Martin arrived unmarked at the back post and turned home Jake Orrell’s cross for his first goal for the Lions.
The scoring continued when centre half Jake Thompson powered home a great header from a Reece Noble corner, before Dale Pearson rounded proceedings off with the last kick of the game, blasting home a pass from late sub Scott McCarthy to give the final score a more realistic reflection of the balance of play.
Match Report Ian Cusack
Photos Shaun Phillips
Website Steve Boyle
Highlights – luke Vinton
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