Consett 1 Newcastle Benfield 1
Newcastle Benfield secured a thoroughly deserved point at Consett on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams started brightly, however neither Andrew Grainger or Kyle Hayes were really tested in the opening exchanges, although ex Lion Dale Pearson did have a half chance which was easily saved.
The positive start made by Benfield was to be spectacularly rewarded in the 12th minute with the first goal of the game after a foul on James Novak 25 yards out. Paul Brayson stepped up to take the free kick, which whistled beyond Hayes and nestled in the net to silence the home support.
The encouraging start continued with all of the lads seeing plenty of the ball with Consett reduced to half chances. Meanwhile the goal had certainly increased the confidence of Brayson who was to have a further two efforts before the half hour but the first effort was straight into the midriff of Hayes and the second chance which was a brave header, went wide. Just after the half hour there was excellent play from Novak who continued playing when the whole Consett defence stopped but unfortunately the ball across the box came to nothing. Mechack Kanda then had a half chance from a Reece Noble corner but the shot was charged down.
After such an encouraging half, disaster struck in the 43rd minute when Consett drew level. A corner from ex Benfield man Jake Orrell fell to Ross Wilkinson who headed the hosts equaliser.
Although the goal came at a disappointing time for Benfield, there had certainly been many positives before that for Stuart Elliott and his coaching team to digest at the interval.
Consett had to raise their game in the second half and they certainly did that. In the 52nd minute, Ardelean flicked the ball on to Jake Orrell but his effort was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Grainger.
The next chance fell to Dale Pearson after good link up play with Alshabeeb but again Andrew Grainger came out on top with a fine block. Moments later, the Benfield number one denied Consett again after saving from Ardelean. Alshabeeb was to also hit the post as a second goal eluded our hosts.
Benfield were still looking threatening on the break but Kyle Hayes was relatively untroubled with only routine duties generally required. The introduction of Dan O’Reilly certainly offered a different threat for the Lions and the former Ashington man made some excellent runs after his late appearance.
After 3 minutes of stoppage time the final whistle was blown and most of those present agreed a point apiece was a fair outcome when considering the whole 90 minutes.
After making some vital saves in the second half, Andrew Grainger was named Benfield man of the match.
Match report Kev Larkham
Photos Callum Boyle
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