Newcastle Benfield v North Shields Match Highlights

Match Highlights by

Luke Vinton

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North Shields 1 Newcastle Benfield 3 match review

Newcastle Benfield defeated North Shields 3-1, with Paul Brayson’s second-half brace securing the league victory for the Lions.

Dale Pearson’s low drive gave Benfield the lead before Callum Johnston levelled before half-time with a long range effort flying beyond Andrew Grainger.

In the second half, Benfield continued to threaten in attack but were dealt a cruel blow as North Shields were awarded a penalty. However, the spot kick was saved by Grainger, who guessed the right way to push the ball away from danger.

In the dying stages of the Division One encounter, Benfield were awarded a late penalty, with Pearson darting into the penalty area before being bundled over in the box.

Brayson was also denied from 12 yards, but the prolific forward was on hand to follow up and tucked the rebound home past Robins goalkeeper Michael Robinson.

Shortly after netting, the striker grabbed his second in injury time, heading home from close range to complete a neat passing move from the away side, with Jake Orrell producing an inviting cross into the path of Brayson.

Report – Luke Vinton

Photos -David Shepherd

Newcastle Benfield Match Report v Ashington -Stuart Elliott gains win on first game in charge.

The Stuart Elliott era at Newcastle Benfield got off to a winning start, whereby The Lions completed their first league success of 2019 in a dreadfully disappointing game at Woodhorn Lane that was ruined as a spectacle by the rank ill-discipline of the hosts.

Last season, Benfield came away with a 2-0 win on a sunny April afternoon, when Scott McCarthy scored goal of the season and Sunderland were relegated after losing 2-1 at home to Burton Albion.

This season, neither the benched McCarthy nor Sunderland, who had rescued a heroic point against the mighty Accrington Stanley the night before, were playing, as Elliott relied on the same starting XI who had pummelled Chester le Street in the League Cup on the Tuesday prior. 

It would be difficult to speculate whether a limited, one-dimensional Ashington side would have caused Benfield more problems than they did if they hadn’t been reduced to 9 men just after the half hour, but the facts are that despite the tireless running of impressive Colliers debutant target man Brandon Morrison, the home team did not have a single effort on target in the whole 90 minutes.

If Andy Grainger had a quiet afternoon, the opposite was true of Colliers keeper Conor Grant who, as ever, had a blinding game. Grant was the sole reason Ashington didn’t concede a bagful at Sam Smith’s earlier in the season and he produced half a dozen outstanding saves in this game to keep the score down. His first involvement was on 8 minutes, when he smothered Dale Pearson’s effort after the tall striker collected a bouncing ball that the Ashington defence had missed. Pearson and then Paul Brayson both went close with efforts that whistled past the upright in the next couple of minutes, before Grant distinguished himself with a superb save from Brayson who cut through the middle. Rhys Evans went close with a long-range effort that dipped just over, before the game turned in a 5-minute spell.

Benfield had clearly been on top from the off and their cause was made appreciably easier by the petulance of full-back Jake Turnbull who received a red card for a wild attempt at a kick on former collier Pearson, long after the ball had gone. Soon after another Turnbull made his mark on the game, albeit in a much more constructive way. Jake Orrell’s corner from the right was met powerfully by Lions skipper Mark Turnbull, only for Grant to make a blinding save. However, the Benfield centre back reacted to prod the rebound home and scored what was proved to be the winner on 32 minutes. Instead of channelling their frustration positively, Ashington pressed the self-destruct button immediately from the restart when former Benfield player, and hero of our title-winning season in 2008/2009, Paul Antony was dismissed for a vicious elbow right in the face of Dale Pearson. A large percentage of the home crowd reacted somewhat negatively to this decision, berating referee Mark Ryan, but from where I was sat, it was the only possible decision. While the supporters were in a state of frenzied anger, the home side tried to regroup. Twice Jake Orrell fizzed efforts just wide of the post, before Grant intervened yet again with another excellent save from Pearson.

Benfield began the second period on the front foot and Rhys Evans twice almost doubled the away team’s advantage; firstly, he flashed a drive just wide and secondly, he just failed to get enough power onto a back-post header to seriously trouble Grant. Sadly, the game declined as a contest thereafter, with sluggish play almost entirely in the Ashington half, where Benfield carved out and missed a succession of half chances, where weak shooting or a woeful final pass saw the danger disappear. Grant was still on his mettle, denying Pearson and then Turnbull in quick succession.

Dean Holmes was denied by a Grant’s best save of the match on 85 minutes, before Ashington broke to win a couple of late corners but didn’t threaten the Benfield goal. The last action of the game saw Grant tip a Brayson effort round the post, before the final whistle sounded on Benfield’s fourth successive victory at Woodhorn Lane.

Match Report Ian Cusack

Photos/website Steve Boyle

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

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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