Newcastle Benfield Match report v Chester le Street

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

Click on the link below


Stuart Elliott appointed New Manager

Newcastle Benfield would like to announce that Stuart Elliott has agreed to become the New Newcastle Benfield Manager.

Stuart has a vast amount of experience and teams up with Paul Brayson who will be his assistant.

Elliot will officially take charge next Saturday and will be watching the lions play Chester le Street in the Cup on Tuesday.

Paul Brayson will remain in charge until Saturday.

Newcastle Benfield v North Shields Match Report Non League football

Newcastle Benfield’s winless run in 2019 now stretches to 6 games over 6 weeks after North Shields followed up their success on penalties at Sam Smith’s Park in the Northumberland Senior Cup quarter final the previous Wednesday, that caused the surprise, untimely departure of Tom Wade from the manager’s chair after only 4 months, with a 4-2 success in the opening league encounter between the two sides.

Despite a strong wind from the west that blew straight down the pitch, this was a good contest, played in a very sporting manner in front of an orderly, appreciative crowd of 257.

Credit must be given where credit is due; this was the best footballing North Shields team I can recall seeing since they joined the Northern League back in 2003; it has taken him a year, but boss Marc Nash and his assistant, one time Benfield boss Tony Woodhouse, have assembled a fine, passing side that showed a lethal instinct in front of goal.

Particular credit must go to young Cameron Cunningham, partnered up top by Gary Day, whose performance as a lead striker was a revelation to those who remember him as a willing but limited target man for The Lions. Also, rolling back the years and helping his team out in a time of keeping crisis, Michael Robinson put in a stupendous shift and was clearly Man of the Match for The Robins.

After a cagey opening, Shields took the initiative and Gary Day put the visitors ahead, by guiding a precise, low shot into the corner after excellent work by Cunningham. Despite playing into the howling gale, Benfield were more than a match for the Robins, with Robinson displaying excellent reactions to block shots by Scott McCarthy and, twice in succession, from Acting Player Manager Paul Brayson.

The latter led to an amazing scramble in the area, which ended with Jake Orrell denied at the back post by a desperate clearance off the line. Just when it seemed Benfield were about to score imminently, Shields inflicted a hammer blow, when Ryan Carr raced on to a through ball and slipped it home past an onrushing Andy Grainger. It could have been curtains for the home side, but Scott McCarthy threw the hosts a lifeline, turning and firing home via the post after Robinson’s mistimed punch fell at his feet, right on the half time whistle.

The second half was an absorbing contest, with the wind abating a crucial factor in the vastly improved spectacle on display. Despite the home side pushing forward for an equaliser from the off, it was Shields who extended their lead. Firstly, an unmarked Cunningham accepted a through ball in the inside left position and finished unerringly under Grainger, before Carr grabbed his second.

The Benfield midfield was notable by their absence as the Shields striker ambled forward and fired a fine effort into the bottom corner. At 4-1 down with 25 minutes left, Benfield introduced towering centre back Jake Thompson, who immediately nullified the threat of Gary Day and effectively shut off any threat from the visitors, who withdrew as Benfield set about salvaging some pride. That they did, when Brayson turned smartly in the area and finished intelligently past a flatfooted Robinson. Indeed, the home side could have salvaged a point, as efforts by Jake Orrell, substitute Dean Holmes and Scott McCarthy all came within a fraction of being a goal. Just as the game was about to go into stoppage time, we had the farcical situation of the referee going down with cramp and a 6 minute delay before he hobbled off and the senior assistant took charge for a brief instant as the game ended without further talking points.

Match Report Ian Cusack

Photos Paul Mcfeeley

Website Steve Boyle

Rooke unable to assist Brayson

Due to my other coaching commitments in my football coaching school and junior club, and after careful consideration, I’m disappointed to step down from the role as i will not be able to commit the time required to do the club justice.

Newcastle Benfield would like to thank Mark for his assistance this season and appreciate that he is unable to assist Paul Brayson any further due to his involvement in the Newcastle Benfield juniors and his own coaching school

Wade and McKay leave Newcastle Benfield

Newcastle Benfield Manager Tom Wade

and First Team Coach Ross McKay have both left Newcastle Benfield by mutual consent.

Newcastle Benfield would like to thank Tom and Ross for their services.

Newcastle Benfield striker Paul Brayson will take control until further notice.


Robins Tame the Lions in the Northumberland FA Senior Cup.

Newcastle Benfield 1-1 North Shields (North Shields win 5-3 on penalties)

Newcastle Benfield were knocked out of the Northumberland Senior Cup at the quarter-final stage as North Shields won 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

After Jake Orrell’s first-half opener at Sam Smith’s Park, the Lions were dealt a cruel blow through Paul Robinson’s stoppage time equaliser. 
With no winner in extra time, the game went to a penalty shoot-out, with the Robins prevailing 5-3 following five accurate spot-kicks, with Benfield’s James Martin’s unfortunately firing his 12-yard attempt over the crossbar.
North Shields began the brightest of the two sides, with Ryan Carr unleashing a curling effort towards goal, forcing Benfield goalkeeper Andrew Grainger into pushing away the speculative strike.
Benfield took their turn in attack as James Novak rose high from a Reece Noble free kick, only for his header to sail straight towards Shields goalkeeper Greg Purvis. 
After limited offensive opportunities in the opening stages, Benfield took the lead on the stroke of half-time. As Scott McCarthy’s effort inside the penalty area was parried into the path of Orrell, the attacking midfielder calmly took the ball past a group of rushing defenders before slotting the ball home from close range.

With a slender lead to their name, Benfield went in search of a second goal in the hope of extending their advantage. After Orrell was played through, the 21-year-old took the ball past a diving Purvis and despite the youngster managing to stay on his feet when clipped, his fierce effort at goal crashed off the top of the woodwork.
McCarthy took his turn to test the visiting goalkeeper, with Purvis coming off his line quickly to produce a brave save, which resulted in suffering a cut on his head, with Michael Robinson coming on in his place for the away side.
With a large chunk of added time, Shields wasted key chances in the final third but, with the clock approaching the last minutes of the game, late drama was to arrive at the bitter end.
As Paul Robinson found time and space on the edge of the penalty area, the winger’s effort sailed into the top corner to the dismay of the Benfield supporters. 

In extra time, cramp began to creep in for the players of both sides, with neither goalkeeper heavily tested in the additional 30 minutes before the game was to be decided by penalties.
With the shoot-out situated at 3-2 to the visitors, Martin’s penalty ultimately decided the result of the tie, with his effort flying over the crossbar. Following four perfect penalties, Gareth Bainbridge sealed the Robins’ passage into the last four, slotting home the Robins’ fifth penalty.

Match Report/highlights
Luke Vinton
Steve Boyle
Match highlights click on link

Newcastle Benfield 2 Hebburn Town 2. Ebac Northern League Division 1

After a thoroughly depressing set of results throughout January, Newcastle Benfield restored some pride with an encouraging display in a thoroughly entertaining encounter which they were a shade unfortunate not to win against a Hebburn Town side who, arguably, had one eye on their FA Vase last 16 tie against West Auckland Town the week after.

Match Highlights

Loan signing Thomas Bexton who had made a good impression in his debut at Bishop Auckland was forced to miss out through injury, the same as Mark Turnbull and Richard Slaughter, along with long term absentees Dylan McEvoy, Lewis Scorgie and Joe Robson. Alex Nisbet filled in at centre half alongside James Novak, though he was forced off at the break with a knock, which allowed the imposing figure of Jake Thompson, recently arrived from Queen of the South, to make his Benfield debut.

The South Tyneside outfit, on their first visit to Sam Smith’s since promotion, started off on the front foot. The Hornets had the ball in the net after 7 minutes, when Luke Sullivan, who was to be a thorn in the home side’s flesh all afternoon, tapped in at the back post, only to be denied by the assistant’s flag.

A decent crowd of 175 were in attendance and they almost saw a Benfield goal after 18 minutes, when Paul Brayson’s astute lay-off was fired a touch too high by Dale Pearson. Spurred on by this, The Lions exerted a degree of pressure with a series of testing corners, taken by stand-in captain Dennis Knight. Unfortunately, all the good work went to waste when James Martin was harshly, if correctly, adjudged to have impeded Luke Sullivan in the area. The striker took the kick himself and sent Andy Grainger the wrong way to grab a lead the visitors held until the break, perhaps a shade luckily. Benfield were gaining great traction by the judicious use of diagonal balls and one such pass put Jake Orrell in, only for keeper Jennison to deflect the ball wide. Late in the half both Novak and Rhys Evans saw powerful drives blocked by a resolute Hebburn defence, intent on maintaining their lead.

Benfield’s star performer was undoubtedly Dennis Knight, who revelled in both the captaincy and his midfield playmaker role. It was fitting he scored the equaliser on 56 minutes, when his vicious drive from distance, after Paul Brayson’s astute lay off had set things up on a plate, proved too hot for former Team North custodian Andrew Jennison, who allowed the ball to squirm right through him. It was nothing less than the home team deserved. Twice in the space of 5 minutes, Paul Brayson almost put Benfield ahead. Firstly, a free kick after Dale Pearson was trip on the edge of the box, ended up on the roof of the net. Then a Jake Orrell cross ended up a fraction wide.

As the incessant rain grew torrential, the home side went ahead. Jennison fumbled another Knight thunderbolt and Orrell reacted quickest to put the rebound in. Undoubtedly, Hebburn were second best and potentially hoping for the final whistle and a chance to regroup in time for their big Vase game and twice Paul Brayson broke through and fired agonisingly wide. 

Benfield were to rue this as Sullivan strode forward in the final minute of regulation time and fired in a low strike that left Andrew Grainger unsighted, to grab a point for the visitors. 

Match Report Ian Cusack

Website Steve Boyle

Match Coverage Luke Vinton

Bishop Auckland v Newcastle Benfield Match Report Northern League Division 1

For most of the time since returning to the Northern League, Bishop Auckland have been serial underachievers, whose on field performances have lagged far behind their supporters’ opinion of themselves. However, under the stewardship of Ian Chandler and Brian Rowe, Bishops have finally found a team to match their palatial surroundings at Heritage Park. Today the Two Blues gave a masterclass in counter attacking football and precise finishing.  That said, if one were to reckon up the chances created by both sides, there would be no doubt that Benfield outstripped the hosts by two to one in creativity. It speaks volumes that home keeper Nick Liversedge was Man of the Match by a country mile today.

Despite an encouraging opening by the visitors, including Scott McCarthy being played in by an astute Paul Brayson pass, only for Liversedge to race from his line to block the shot, it was Bishops who went ahead after 10 minutes. Ex Benfield full back Michael Hoganson took an inswinging free kick on the right that Andrew Grainger solicitously tipped over. Despite the referee signalling a corner from the right, Bishops took it from the left and an unmarked Kieran Gailbraith headed home. Of course, the goal should not have stood, but I seemed the only person in the 286 crowd to have noticed this.

Benfield did not allow themselves to be discomfited by this misfortune and took the game straight to their hosts. On 12 minutes McCarthy’s deflected effort fell to James Martin who shot over from a tight angle. Martin was again involved soon after, flashing a ball across the box that Dennis Knight just failed to convert at the back post. Knight hit another effort that deflected agonisingly wide and from the subsequent corner, Alex Nisbet just failed to direct a header on target. Both McCarthy and Reece Noble shot from distance in quick succession, only to see Liversedge twice extend himself to the utmost and tip the ball wide, while Brayson’s free kick from the edge of the box after Jake Orrell had been upended was a shade too high. For Bishops, Chris Winn had twice had efforts held by captain for the day Andy Grainger, though it was a shock when the Two Blues doubled their lead just before half time when Fryatt intercepted an attempted pass by Nisbet, before waltzing into the box and burying a low effort into the far corner. 

In the second half, Benfield came out swinging; Orrell flashed a drive wide and Knight was denied by Liversedge’s reflexes at his near post. However, as the temperature plummeted and darkness fell, Bishops were content to allow Benfield possession and try to this the Lions on the break. This they did with uncompromising ruthlessness, when the previously anonymous Andy Johnson turned in the box and fired past Grainger for 3-0. The game was up, despite Brayson’s glorious volley on 71 minutes that gave Benfield hope. However, when Liversedge denied Dale Pearson with the save of the game and Nisbet’s header from the corner was knocked off the line, the sense that it won’t be your day becomes all too pervasive. So it proved, as Bishops saw the game out to win 3-1.


Match Report

Ian Cusack


Joseph Gorman

(Bishop Auckland)