Digital Non League Match programmes

Newcastle Benfield Fc will now be publishing our match programme in a digital format on the website.

The programme will be published online along with the match Highlights within 48 hours of the game.

Click on the link below for a preview

An original paper copy will be available on match days from our programme editor Ian Cusack for £1.

Thanks to Ian for his articles in the programme and to Dave Robson & associates property management for their sponsorship of the Match Programme


Newcastle Benfield 2 West Auckland 0 Match Report

Newcastle Benfield extended their unbeaten run to 11 and their winning sequence to 7 games with a routine 2-0 win over a strangely subdued and ineffectual West Auckland Town who, for all their big names and even bigger reputations, found themselves unable to get out of first gear all game. Boss Tom Wade made a couple of changes to the team; with Dean Holmes unavailable, Scott McCarthy was restored to the first XI, while Reece Noble came in for his debut at the expense of Dennis Knight, who’d left the field the week previous towards the end of the tumultuous 5-4 win over Runcorn Town in the FA Vase with a case of concussion.  A soaking week had been counteracted by a howling gale on Saturday morning, which died off in time for kick off, leaving the pitch looking immaculate as usual.

In the second minute, Paul Brayson had an effort blocked, with the loose ball travelling to Ritchie Slaughter in a similar position from where he scored the outrageous winner seven days earlier. There was to be no repeat sadly, as the midfielder launched his shot high and wide. Soon though, Benfield took the lead. Good play by Scott McCarthy on the right led to him backheeling the ball into the path of Rhys Evans, whose pinpoint cross was deftly finished at the near post by Jake Orrell.  Instead of the visitors responding, Benfield almost made it 2-0 on 18 minutes when James Martin scampered down the left, put in a great cross and Paul Brayson hit his attempt at a defender.  West Auckland produced their first effort on goal after 26 minutes; Arjan Purewal made ground on the right and his centre was half cleared to Mitchell, who stung the palms of Andy Grainger; the Benfield keeper claimed the ball after parrying the initial effort. Dale Pearson almost scored an outrageous bicycle kick, but his stylish effort from a Ritchie Slaughter header into the box landed on the roof of the net. Finally, in first half stoppage time, another audacious McCarthy backheel set Brayson free, but his left foot shot was straight at keeper Shane Bland.

The initial stages of the second period hinted at a West Auckland revival, but their possession and determined tackling produced little tangible reward. Indeed, on 54 minutes, it was inches from being 2-0, after Mark Turnbull’s bullet header from a Brayson corner was kicked off the line. Moments later, Orrell set up Pearson for a flashing drive that Bland pushed away at full stretch. Sadly, Bland’s next contribution was less praiseworthy. He mishit a goal kick straight to Brayson about 30 yards from goal. The veteran marksman gathered the ball, drew Bland out of position and comfortably stroked the ball home, to double the home side’s advantage. It was almost 3-0 when Brayson’s venomous effort from a tight angle was fisted clear by Bland. West Auckland almost claimed a late consolation, but Andy Grainger displayed lightning reactions to block substitute Wearmouth’s point blank header and thus preserve a clean sheet.

Ritchie Slaughters Runcorn with last minute winner in the Game of the season

Over the years, Sam Smith’s Park has witnessed some great football and some stirring games, but surely none have ever matched the spellbinding brilliance of this tumultuous contest. From the first kick to the very last, the game swung between the two sides as drama was heaped on drama in as enthralling manner as could ever be imagined. Runcorn Town will be bitterly upset to have lost in such scarcely believable circumstances, but they will surely privately admit that the best team won on the day. However, the visitors from Cheshire played a full and commendable part in a titanic struggle, settled by a glorious curling effort into the top corner from outside the area by Richie Slaughter. In truth, it was the only fitting way to conclude such a memorable game.

On a filthy day at the end of a waterlogged week, groundsman Stan Thompson deserves the utmost praise for producing a perfect playing surface that stood up to 90 minutes of bombardment by two sets of gallant players. Every single blade of grass on that pitch was covered by the tireless running of 41-year-old Paul Brayson, who ran his blood to water for the entire game. Brayson’s first run came in the second minute, when he accepted an astute ball from Dennis Knight and curled an effort just wide. Unfortunately, the first goal of the game went to the visitors; a momentary lapse by Rhys Evans allowed Dale Jennings to clip a delightful lob over the head of stranded Benfield keeper Andy Grainger in the 6 minute. The Lions weren’t behind for long, as Dennis Knight collected a loose ball on the right side of the area, evaded a couple of challenges and shot home with unstoppable power and admirable precision. Soon after James Martin was denied his first goal for the club, when a desperate block ended his run into the box, leaving the ball to run for Jake Orrell whose shot was on target, but deflected wide.


Brayson really ought to have put Benfield ahead on 28 minutes, but he poked a close-range effort at the back post into the side netting when it looked easier to score, following Knight’s decisive low cross. Indeed, this miss came to haunt the home side when Joseph Heath’s innocuous long-range trundler left a clearly unsighted Andy Grainger unable to keep it out after the ball came through a crowd of players. This goal rocked Benfield right back on their heels and Runcorn, having scored with their only two efforts on goal, began to exercise a measure of control. Grainger kept the Lions in the contest with a point blank save from Liam Turner on 43 minutes and the crucial nature of this save was reinforced when, with the last kick of the half, Dale Pearson turned in a loose ball in the box after Jake Orrell’s free kick had not been properly cleared.

It is a widely held football belief that a goal at the end of the first half is a precious thing, as it allows the opposition to brood on it during the break. Pearson’s equaliser also had the effect of empowering the hosts who relentlessly pushed Runcorn back for long periods in the second half. Brayson fired just over after collecting a pass from Pearson, before putting Benfield ahead on 52 minutes with a precise finish after Slaughter and Pearson had combined delightfully down the left. This was a tough game and it needed a determined attitude, which the Lions had in spades. Pearson’s contest marauding down the flank gave Orrell a chance after keeper Adam Reid had palmed out a cross, but defenders got in the way. Reid was in the right place to instinctively clutch a Knight header to his chest. Soon after Knight left the field, suffering dizziness after a clash of heads. His replacement Alex Nisbet headed an Orrell cross just wide as Benfield turned the screw. The home side were denied a clear penalty when Brayson’s goal bound shot was turned around the post by a deliberate use of the arm by a visiting defender. The referee claimed to have been unsighted. This did not seem to matter when Brayson’s intelligent pass set the rampaging Dale Pearson away, who then danced round Reid before slotting into an empty net to give Benfield a seemingly unassailable two goal lead on 81 minutes.

Runcorn, to their credit, would not lie down. A bout of pinball in the area on 83 minutes saw Craig Lindfield poke the ball home. Suddenly, there was renewed belief among the travelling contingent and sure enough, their faith was rewarded barely 60 seconds later when a desperate skirmish in the six-yard box ended with the ball in the net. The goal was eventually credited to Danny Byrnes and, just as the crowd had mentally prepared themselves for an extra 30 minutes, Ritchie Slaughter intervened, sending the home crowd into delirium. What a game!

 Over the years, Sam Smith’s Park has witnessed some great football and some stirring games, but surely none have ever matched the spellbinding brilliance of this tumultuous contest. From the first kick to the very last, the game swung between the two sides as drama was heaped on drama in as enthralling manner as could ever be imagined. Runcorn Town will be bitterly upset to have lost in such scarcely believable circumstances, but they will surely privately admit that the best team won on the day. However, the visitors from Cheshire played a full and commendable part in a titanic struggle, settled by a glorious curling effort into the top corner from outside the area by Richie Slaughter. In truth, it was the only fitting way to conclude such a memorable game.

Match Report Ian Cusack

Match Highlights to follow Luke Vinton

Website Steve Boyle

Benfield Bear Leo the Lion (UnKnown)

Newcastle Benfield v Seaham Redstar Match Report

Newcastle Benfield recovered from the early blow of a spectacular own goal by skipper Mark Turnbull to complete a stylish, comprehensive win over a Seaham Red Star side who fell to pieces in the second period and ought to have left Sam Smith’s Park on the end of a far more comprehensive defeat than the eventual 3-1 result. 

Benfield fans have had the dubious pleasure of seeing some truly extraordinary own goals, such as Kenny Boyle’s 40-yard volley into his own net or Steven Tobin’s magnificent diving header past the despairing leap of Andy Grainger; Sparky’s effort wasn’t quite in that class, though he slid in and fired the bar right into the top corner of the net, giving Grainger absolutely no chance. The distinctly anti-Corinthian guffawing and braying, courtesy of a small section of Seaham’s somewhat ungracious support, was soon snuffed out by the award of a penalty for a clear push in the box on Paul Brayson. Dennis Knight stepped forward to confidently put The Lions back on level terms with a decisive finish from the 12-yard mark. However, there was soon danger for Benfield as Gardiner’s effort was deflected up and over a stranded Grainger, only for a covering Turnbull to make partial amends for his earlier blooper. In due course, Turnbull’s total redemption was achieved just before the half hour, when the skipper rose at the back post to arc a delightful header over John Mordey from Jake Orrell’s magnificent cross, giving the home side a lead, they never looked likely to relinquish. Indeed, Benfield could have gone in at the break with the game sewn up, if Knight’s beautifully weighted through ball had not been slid a yard the wrong side of the post by the normally deadly Brayson.

After the interval, the game continued on its course; a flowing, open contest, when defences were never truly at home against quality attackers. Though, as the clock ticked on, Seaham’s experienced front pairing of Michael Chilton and Adam Rundle became less and less involved. The real turning point that sealed the visitors’ fate was the dismissal of Darryl Donnelly for a crude body check on Dennis Knight in the area. Knight had just executed a delightful trap and turn in a single move when he was unceremoniously dumped to the floor. The penalty and red card were inevitable; the goal from Knight soon followed. From that point, the depleted visitors sought only damage limitation as Benfield endlessly carved them open. Brayson hit the side netting from a tight angle, before setting up sub Mackenzie Heaney (who produced another delightful cameo from the bench) with an audacious back heel. 

Again and again the home side drove forward; a wickedly sliced clearance by a disorientated Seaham defender almost resulted in an own goal, before substitute Scott McCarthy accepted a quick Grainger throw and ran the whole length of the pitch, before Mordey denied him with his knees. Despite the endless waves of attacking invention, the Seaham goal avoided further mishap as Benfield elegantly secured their fifth successive win and ninth game unbeaten in all competitions. 

Match report Ian Cusack

Action photos CJC photos

 Next Game…..

The long Road to Recovery….

Newcastle Benfield defender Lewis Scorgie gives an insight into his injury and an update.

Lewis sustained his injury when he Jumped up for a header and landed badly in last seasons league cup semi final against Bishop Auckland. He damaged his lateral ligament in his right ankle which requires surgery to reconstruct it.

Depending on the operation date Lewis does not know if he will play this season. If an operation was to take place soon Lewis is hoping to be fit in time for the end of season and to use that as an early pre season to kick start next season.

The injury he sustained Playing in non league has definitely affected his job as he was off for 3 weeks and when he eventually has his operation He is looking at 10 weeks off work with only sick pay.

Newcastle Benfield Dylan Mcevoy gives an insight into his injury and and update.

Dylan sustained his injury due to the way he landed in a fixture on the 1st September against Stockton Town approximately 13 weeks ago following a high tackle just below his left knee.

He did not recall what happened to his foot as it was a blur due to the pain.

Dylan’s doctor informed him on the day it was 3 torn ligaments in the ankle, however he now understands that his injury is a rupture to one of those ligaments. He has a scheduled ultrasound scan on the 6th December at the Nuffield where he will receive a further update.

Dylan stated the injury has affected him outside of football as he has been laid up for 13 weeks not being able to do his normal routine.

To date Dylan is unable to predict when he will be back playing until He attends the hospital and a decision is made wether he requires an operation.

Newcastle Benfield are hoping for a speedy recovery for both of these young talented prospects .

When certain factions are asking for premier league clubs to donate a substantial amount as a farewell payment to a certain individual , spare a thought for those players throughout the country who are injured and unfortunately don’t have that security.

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Newcastle Benfield Match report

Match Highlights click on the link

Unlike their neighbours Ryhope CA, whose Meadow Park ground has proved to be a fruitful hunting ground for Newcastle Benfield in recent years, Ryhope CW has been a venue without pity for The Lions. Indeed, after a remarkable 11-1 home win over CW at Sam Smith’s in October 2016, Benfield have lost their 3 subsequent games against today’s opponents. Thankfully, this dismal run was arrested by a superb performance from front to back that brought a fully merited victory and only Benfield’s second success on the road this season. The other away victory, somewhat ironically, was achieved at Ryhope CA’s Meadow Park on the opening day of the season.

Benfield began the game strongly from the very start. Paul Brayson drove into the box in the opening minute, cutting the ball back for Dean Holmes whose effort was saved by the legs of home keeper Ball. Brayson was again involved on 10 minutes, lifting a chip over the advancing Ball, only for the ball to agonisingly drift over the top. Midway through the half, all of Benfield’s possession and constant threat in an attacking context were undone when Michael Rae’s clever flick set James Ellis free and he buried an effort from 12 yards.The goal may have been a surprise, but it had the effect of driving Ryhope forwards and knocking the wind out of Benfield’s sails. Andrew Grainger kept The Lions in the game, by twice producing excellent saves, one a full-length dive and the other an instinctive parry. The value of his efforts were underlined by Jake Orrell, who impressively steered home a loose ball that had deflected to him following a Paul Brayson effort, to restore parity. The equaliser gave Benfield a new sense of purpose and they ended the half well on top.

Three times in the opening period of the second half, Benfield were denied; firstly, Brayson’s lay-off allowed Dale Pearson to get in a shot. When a deflection took the pace off the ball, Orrell was a fraction away from getting his toe on it and helping it over the line. Dean Holmes then fired in a low cross that Ryhope’s Danni Lay almost sliced into his own net but managed to scramble away at the last second. Thirdly, Rhys Evans fed Pearson and his shot was again hacked away from the line. All this pressure took its toll on Ryhope’s discipline, as on the hour Brayson was unceremoniously chopped down near the dead ball line. Knight confidently sent the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards. 

From the next attack, Benfield almost scored again. Brayson’s thumping effort struck the ball and Dean Holmes was poised to knock the rebound home when he was barged to the ground. Amazingly no foul was given, but it showed Ryhope to be a team out of control, as demonstrated by substitute Craig Ellison’s assault on Joe Robson that surprisingly was only punished with a yellow card. Another yellow card was shown to Ryhope captain Ben Riding after he swept Brayson’s legs from under him in the box. Again, Knight sent Ball the wrong way and the score became 3-1. Deep in injury time Andrew Grainger made a superb save from Lay’s long-range effort, only for the ball to fall to Shaw, who squeezed it in from a tight angle to give an unfair sheen to the final score.


Man of the Match: 

Dennis Knight

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