Newcastle Benfield 4 Guisborough Town 0

Attendance 235
Buildbase FA Vase

Second round 
Saturday 2nd November 2019

The Lions roared into the third round of the Buildbase FA Vase after Guisborough Town were well and truly mauled at Sam Smith’s Park on Saturday afternoon.

After the teams finished all square back in September, it was reasonable to expect another close affair, however, Benfield had different ideas as they started on the front foot and retained that mindset throughout.

It only took 2 minutes for the lads to take the lead and Paul Brayson can count himself rather unfortunate that it was not his name on the scoresheet. After a goalmouth scramble when the ball would not go in for the Lions number 9, it was Daniel O’Reilly who was on hand to drill in his first goal for his new club and more crucially give the hosts an early advantage.

Benfield continued to look the far likelier to score again with Peter Glen-Ravenhill next to go close after some fine work creating a chance for himself.

In the 12th minute, the early dominance was rewarded with a second goal after Dennis Knight was crudely fouled just outside the Guisborough box. Knight dusted himself down and curled an absolute beauty into the top corner to double the lead.

Guisborough were well and truly on the ropes in the opening 45 minutes as Knight and Brayson could have easily increased the lead, with the best chance falling to Knight who rattled an effort off the post. O’Reilly too was looking very threatening for the hosts.

Guisborough were reduced to half chances but did have a period of attacking intent as the half closed out, however, Andrew Grainger in the Lions goal was not unduly threatened.

Guisborough started the second half with the same level of attacking threat as they looked to claw their way back into the contest, however, crucially, Benfield were able to keep the visitors out and the clean sheet intact.

After weathering the early second half storm, Benfield continued their attacking dominance and after poor defending, Brayson was fouled in the area and a penalty awarded to the hosts. Unfortunately Dennis Knight crashed his effort wide of the goal without forcing Guisborough keeper Yaqub to make a save.

The contest was all but over after 57 minutes when Brayson scored a third after finding space in the area to calmly beat Yaqub.

After the earlier penalty, another potential spot kick was turned down after a clumsy challenge on Knight, however Guisborough did not learn from this let off, as shortly after Knight was fouled again and another penalty was awarded. This time, Knight blasted the Lions into a four goal lead with a cool finish.

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Although Guisborough continued to battle, the contest was long since over and it was probably Benfield who were still having the more gilt edged opportunities, with substitute Bowey in particular, agonisingly inches away from adding a 5th.

Every single player could justifiably be considered for the man of the match award but in the end, Peter Glen-Ravenhill shaded the marks after a fine performance.

Next up, it’s Brandon United away in the league cup on Wednesday. There will also be crucial league points at stake before the next round of the Vase comes around on Saturday 30th November.

Manager Stuart Elliott

Gave his reaction to the game on BBC Newcastle radio


Match report Kev Larkham

Website photos Steve Boyle


Newcastle Benfield v Thornaby

Newcastle Benfield v Thornaby

Ebac Northern League First Division 

Saturday 26th October 2019

On a day when a number of Northern League games were postponed after heavy rain in the preceding 24 hours, the excellent Sam Smith’s pitch was deemed perfectly playable as Thornaby arrived in Walkergate for the second time in little over a month after going down 3-1 in a league cup fixture at the back end of September. 

After last weeks disappointing reverse at North Shields, Stuart Elliott and the Lions were hoping for a similar outcome to that league cup meeting but with Dennis Knight unavailable the management team were forced to shuffle their pack and handed a debut to Daniel O’Reilly who recently signed from Ashington.

Thornaby arrived with some significant height in their starting eleven, including the experienced and much travelled Ian Ward.

On a much more settled afternoon than last week, Benfield found themselves unusually attacking the clubhouse end in the first half. Early exchanges were contested in central areas with no real opportunities for either side as Andrew Grainger and James Dawson were reduced to mainly spectator roles in their respective goalmouths. 

O’Reilly was looking sharp as he aimed to impress his new club on his debut and after 25 minutes he tested Dawson in the Thornaby goal but the visiting custodian was equal to the effort.

Thornaby were probably shading the half chances which were being created at this stage and indeed Mark Turnbull made an excellent last ditch clearance as Thornaby threatened to take the lead.

Paul Brayson had an opportunity to put the lions into the lead after 32 minutes but his delicate dink was clawed out of the air by Dawson. The Benfield front man was looking like the best outlet for a home goal and linked up well with Parker shortly afterwards but the resulting corner came to nothing. Brayson also had an opportunity a few minutes before half time but his chance flashed wide and the sides went into the interval all square.

Benfield started brightly in the second half as the impressive Haley patrolled the midfield area with Ben Richardson and it was Haley who played a fine ball through to O’Reilly but unfortunately the effort was comfortable for Dawson.

The contest turned rather scrappy in the middle part of the second half which was fully understandable given how energy sapping the heavy pitch must of been for both teams.

Cyril Giraud was starting to influence the contest when he was chopped down on the edge of the area but the free kick from Brayson was to be blocked by the Thornaby wall.

Benfield continued to press for the crucial breakthrough and after an excellent interchange between Novak and Brayson, the lions defender forced Dawson into a save low down.

In the 78th minute, debutant O’Reilly was given a breather and replaced by Kurtis Russell as both sides pressed for what was surely going to be the decisive goal in this contest. Ben Richardson produced a tremendous block as Thornaby sensed all 3 points were heading back down the A19. Aiden Haley then went on a marvellous run before shooting narrowly wide. 

Finally in the 88th minute, Benfield broke the deadlock as a fine cross from Russell was glanced home by Cyril Giraud to delight the Benfield supporters in a gate of 194. Having waited so long for the breakthrough, Benfield were in no mood for further late drama and were able to see out the remaining time without being unduly threatened. The goal was probably cruel on Thornaby but after leaving North Shields with nothing last week after similar late drama, it is difficult to feel too sorry for our visitors. In fairness to Thornaby though, based on today, it can only be a matter of time before they pull themselves clear of the relegation zone.

Although over the 90 minutes chances were at a slight premium, there were still fine performances throughout the team with Haley, Kanda and the overall defensive unit having a solid afternoon.

It’s the crucial FA Vase second round clash with Guisborough Town next weekend and after the three points today, the lads should be full of confidence as they start out on the Wembley trail.

Match report Kevin Larkham

Photos website Steve Boyle

Photos Nathan Pearson

North Shields 4 Newcastle Benfield 2 Ebac Northern League Match Report

North Shields 4

Newcastle Benfield 2
Saturday 19th October 2019
Ebac Northern League Division One

The Lions made the short journey down the Coast Road to North Shields on Saturday afternoon, as two of the in form teams in the division locked horns.

Although there probably weren’t serious doubts about the game, the heavens opened a couple of hours beforehand and nothing changed throughout the whole afternoon as the already heavy pitch and everyone involved took a soaking.

It was Benfield who started the brighter and seemed to be adjusting to the conditions better than the hosts. This positive start was reflected in the score line after 14 minutes when a great cross from Parker was met by former Shields man Glen-Ravenhill who delighted the travelling Benfield supporters with a fine header past Purvis in the Shields goal.

Given the poor conditions, the game already felt like fine margins would be the difference and therefore when a stunning free-kick from ex Robin Ben Richardson crashed against the crossbar rather than putting the lions 2 up, the visiting contingent wondered how costly this misfortune could be. It was a fine run from Baltazar who won the free kick but unfortunately, injury ended his afternoon shortly afterwards as Jake Turnbull entered the fray.

Shields earlier feeling of despair that a former player had come back to haunt them was switched to Benfield after 25 minutes when Scott McCarthy levelled proceedings against his former club when given space to fire the home side level.

Benfield had looked the far more composed side until the leveller but Shields had by far the better of things for the remainder of the half, although Knight shaved the post with a fine effort and Glen-Ravenhill was also very close to getting his second. Unfortunately Shields increased threat was rewarded with a goal from Kyle Patton two minutes before half time which sent the Robins in at the interval in front.

Benfield started the second half very brightly and there was a huge shout for a penalty after a potential handball but the referee was not interested and waved away the visitors appeals. The positive approach that the lads were showing was rewarded after 65 minutes when an inch perfect cross from Glen-Ravenhill was converted by Dennis Knight to draw the sides level.

Giraud and Brayson came on for the Lions as the lads in yellow sensed a winner but Grainger in the Benfield goal was also making some brilliant saves at the other end to keep Shields out.

After a great run from Knight, a pass to Brayson would have given the Benfield marksman a clear run at goal but agonisingly the ball never reached Brayson who would have surely secured the 3 points, although he still would of course had to beat Purvis in the Shields goal.

After a truly awful day, a point would have probably been what both sides deserved, given the different passages of play where either side was on top, however, there was to be late drama which left the Lions making the short journey home pointless.

North Shields had already forced some last ditch Benfield defending as we entered the closing stages and deep into stoppage time, Kyle Patton found space to fire North Shields into the lead. Unbelievably after a mistake in the Lions back line, Patton then completed his hat trick to seal an extremely flattering 4-2 victory.

Benfield certainly did not deserve to be on the receiving end of such a score line but as mentioned earlier, this was a game of fine margins.

Both sets of players deserve huge credit for putting on a show in such wet conditions and the 318 in attendance certainly got full value for money. Indeed, some in the home ranks suggested this was the best game at the Daren Persson Stadium this season, due to the way both sides went about their business in the testing conditions.

With no game this week, the lads will look to bounce back next Saturday when Thornaby head to Sam Smith’s Park.

Match Report

Kev Larkham

Photos website Steve Boyle

Newcastle Benfield 2 Bedlington Terriers 1

Newcastle Benfield 2 Bedlington Terriers 1
Ebac Northern League Cup – Group D
Wednesday 16th October 2019

Newcastle Benfield consolidated second position in Group D of the league cup with victory over Bedlington Terriers on Wednesday evening.

The Terriers arrived in Walkergate for the second time this season having been our first pre-season opponents back in July. The summer friendly ended in a 1-0 win and tonight was to also end with a narrow victory for the Lions.

Stuart Elliott made changes with one eye on North Shields this weekend, however Benfield started brightly and took the lead in the 9th minute after good work from Jake Turnbull who found Dennis Knight in the area. The in form striker still had work to do but managed to get his effort away and into the corner past Brooks in the visitors goal.

Benfield played some fine football during the first 45 minutes but the Terriers were always a threat going forward with the lively Colquhoun having a golden chance which he pulled wide of Gordon’s goal who was deputising for regular custodian Andrew Grainger.

The Lions doubled their advantage in the 37th minute with a fine side footed finish from Aiden Haley and were in a good position as we headed into the interval.

Bedlington became more of an attacking threat in the second 45 minutes but could have fallen further behind if a Peter Glen-Ravenhill chance had not been ruled out for offside after good work from Kurtis Russell.

There were however a few nervous moments when Mackenzie Sharpe halved the deficit with 17 minutes to go after a goalmouth scramble. Thankfully the lads continued to press after the visitors goal and had several decent opportunities to increase the lead.

Glen-Ravenhill and the impressive Lewis Scorgie both had opportunities but in fairness these were not easy to convert.

With Stuart Elliott throwing himself into the action as a 73rd minute substitute, the team were well placed to take on board the managers requirements and were relatively unscathed in the final exchanges although Bedlington still fancied taking something out of the game with the lead being so slender.

Everyone who pulled on the Benfield shirt tonight can be pleased with their efforts but man of the match went to Lewis Scorgie who was not only captain for the evening but also put in his most commanding performance yet, since his return from injury.

The victory puts the lads in a commanding position to qualify for the knockout stages of the revamped league cup but also sets them up nicely for the tough trip to North Shields on Saturday.

Match report Kev Larkham

Website/Photos Steve Boyle

Mom Lewis scorgie

Newcastle Benfield 4 Northallerton Town 3 Match report

Newcastle Benfield 4 Northallerton Town 3
Saturday 12th October 2019

Newcastle Benfield secured a dramatic victory over Northallerton Town on Saturday but made life difficult for themselves having to come back from 2-0 and 3-2 down.

With Northallerton coming to Tyneside propping up the first division table, Benfield would have fancied their chances of collecting all 3 points beforehand but they were made to work extremely hard for them by a well organised town team and had to do so without the injured Paul Brayson.

Benfield started brightly as good work from Giraud to find Glen-Ravenhill almost created an opening but Northallerton were able to clear their lines.

On 10 minutes, Northallerton were to take the lead as scrappy defending from a corner allowed Charlie Graham to head home past Andrew Grainger.

Lewis Scorgie in his 2nd full game back since his long term injury was looking particularly commanding at the back for Benfield winning some crucial interceptions. It was Scorgie who after a commanding run out from the back set up Glen-Ravenhill but his effort went over the bar and was also Scorgie who forced Northallerton keeper Dawson to tip the ball onto the post after a fine header.

It was looking like only a matter of time before Benfield equalised with Giraud and Kurtis Russell both looking lively. However,  Northallerton were to double their lead in the 29th minute against the run of play as Connor Lowes was able to chip an effort over Grainger from the edge of the area.

Within 6 minutes Benfield were given a route back into the contest. A fine ball forward from Novak released Dennis Knight who was hauled down for an obvious penalty. Knight stepped up to half the arrears with a great finish.

On 43 minutes Benfield were level after a fine pass from Knight released Glen-Ravenhill who calmly stroked home the equaliser.

Having completed the turnaround just before half time, the Lions were unbelievably 3-2 down straight after the interval as a free header allowed Jack Procter to give our visitors something to hold onto again in the 47th minute. Benfield were still very much threatening but were certainly not making things easy for themselves.

However, in the 69th minute, the Novak/Knight combination struck again as a fine cross from the left was headed home from a tight angle by Knight. At 3-3, Benfield now needed to keep defensively disciplined as they sought a winner. Thankfully it was only 3 minutes later when the lads found themselves 4-3 up as that man Knight completed a fine hat trick as he cut in front of his man to fire past Dawson.

In the 76th minute Mark Turnbull became the first Benfield player to be sin binned for 10 minutes but the Benfield back line was looking much more watertight by now and the team coped well enough with a man less.

Northallerton were to have the ball in the net deep into stoppage time but it was clear for all to see that a very early offside flag had been raised. This was to be the last action as moments later the full time whistle went.

Hopefully those present, including members of the Non League Society enjoyed themselves. A 4-3 is certainly a good advertisement for non league day which was celebrated throughout the UK. 

Man of the match was announced as Dennis Knight, which after a fine hat trick was richly deserved.

Final Score
Newcastle Benfield 4 Northallerton Town 3

Match report kev Larkham

Website/photos Steve Boyle

Newcastle Benfield Match report – Ryhope C.W. 0 Newcastle Benfield 3

Sunderland Ryhope C.W. 0 Newcastle Benfield 3

Saturday 5th October 2019
Ryhope Recreation Ground

The Lions roared to a fine victory on Wearside on Saturday afternoon as a second half treble eased the lads to a fine 3-0 victory at Sunderland Ryhope C.W.

The early exchanges were pretty even with both sides having opportunities to break the deadlock, however a combination of goalkeeping saves and off target shots resulted in the scores remaining level.

Dennis Knight in particular was looking lively in attacking areas linking up well with Giraud and Brayson before the latter was forced off with an injury to be replaced by Baltazar.

There was a key moment in the 39th minute when a soft penalty was awarded to our hosts but the impressive Andrew Grainger turned Rae’s spot kick effort around the post to keep proceedings level at the interval.

Benfield started the second half brightly with Knight and Giraud both going close in the early passages of play. Dennis Knight continued to be on the receiving end of some illegal challenges and in the 65th minute, the hosts were finally punished as Knight was brought down in the area. Knight himself stepped up to calmly fire the lads in front.

Just three minutes later the lions doubled their advantage as Knight fired the ball across the Ryhope area which Glen-Ravenhill was unlucky to divert onto the crossbar

before a following up Giraud headed the rebound past a despairing Winter in the Ryhope goal.

In the 73rd minute Glen-Ravenhill put the icing on the cake after being slipped through. The former Whitley Bay man still had work to do as he raced towards goal but bided his time before excellently slipping the ball into the corner of the net.

Benfield saw out the remainder of the contest to preserve a fine clean sheet and return up the A19 with maximum points.

All of the visitors deserve credit for the victory which was set up after a commanding first half from Grainger. Each and every one of the lads were able to reflect on a fine afternoons work, however Mechack Kanda deservedly walked away with the man of the match award after a faultless showing.

The whole squad can look forward to the remainder of October with optimism as a busy month unfolds.

Match Report Kev Larkham

Photos Paul Mcfeeley

Website Steve Boyle

Newcastle Benfield 2 Guisborough Town 2 Ebac Northern League Division One

An absorbing and explosive encounter between Benfield and Guisborough climaxed with the sides exchanging picture book goals in stoppage time to share the points from an absorbing contest at a febrile Sam Smith’s Park. After a prolonged downpour overnight, it was reassuring to see the pitch in perfect condition. The surface seemed suited to the home side’s usual silky short passing game, while any pitch would have seemed acceptable for Guisborough’s strong-arm approach to proceedings, reflected in the 7 cautions they received, as well as striker Danny Early becoming the first player in a Benfield game in 2019/2020 to suffer the obloquy of being sent to the sin bin for dissent. Of course, the visitors can justifiably point to their valuable away point and massively improved league position after several seasons struggling against relegation as the fruits of their tactics, that teeter on the brink of unsporting conduct.

There seemed little indication of the fireworks to come in the opening 20 minutes as the two sides exchanged possession, with few actual chances, until Jake Turnbull advanced and fizzed a low effort that was deflected wide. Straight after this, Benfield suffered a blow, with Ritchy Slaughter limping off in a like for like substitution with Ben Richardson. Once play settled down, the Lions produced a flowing move with Brad Varga and Jake Turnbull setting up Cyril Giraud, whose shot was held by visiting keeper Ryan Catterick. His opposite number Andy Grainger was called into action just before the break, blocking a Josh Rowbotham effort, then falling on the loose ball. 


In the second half, Guisborough redoubled their tough tackling, as the referee struggled to keep on top of the visitors’ antics. Amidst the vitriol, Joe Ferguson seized on indecision in the Benfield rearguard to put the Priorymen ahead just after the hour with an exquisite lob. It seemed from then on, that Guisborough’s sole tactic was to break up play with constant fouls and delaying tactics, but such cynicism was keeping Benfield at arm’s length. Cyril Giraud was singled out for particularly rough treatment, but he showed great fortitude the stand up to everything thrown at him. It’s a good job Andrew Grainger did so twice in the space of 20 seconds after 75 minutes, to keep Benfield in the game. 

Twice keeper Catterick had patted down free kicks from James Novak and then Dennis Knight, after fouls on Giraud. Following another illegal challenge, Novak changed his approach with a ball chipped to the back post. A misdirected defensive header fell perfectly for Matty Parker to hammer the ball home after 83 minutes. In the aftermath, Earl was sinbinned for dissent and Kurtis Russell came on for Jake Turnbull, immediately extending Catterick with a vicious swerving effort that was headed for the top corner. Benfield scented victory and in the 90th minute Paul Brayson’s intelligent through ball was finished in glorious fashion by Dennis Knight.

Amazingly though, Guisborough got off the canvas to claim a point. It is more than 20 years since Brian Close appeared in The Premier League for Middlesbrough, but his imperious header into the postage stamp at the corner of post and bar would not have disgraced his former team mate Fabrizio Ravanelli. A late sickener, but probably a fair result.

Match Report Ian Cusack

Newcastle Benfield 3 Thornaby 1 -Match Report -Northern League Cup

It would be fair to say that the new format of the Northern League Cup, with 40 teams split into 8 groups of 2 to produce 16 qualifiers from these mini leagues, has not proved to be a universally popular idea with many clubs. However, it seems spectators are pleased with the opportunity to see more games, which can be seen by increased attendances. For instance, this highly entertaining contest was seen by approximately 50 more spectators than Benfield’s first home game in the same competition last year and 100 extra compared to the visit of Darlington RA 3 seasons back.

The game began at one hell of a lick, with Thornaby’s Jordan Wilson finding himself free on the left edge of the area in the first minute, only for his effort to bounce back out from the inside of the post and away from danger. Barely 30 seconds later, Paul Brayson worked a shooting opportunity in the Thornaby area, only for the ball to run away from him when he seemed certain to score. Straight from the restart, Thornaby surrendered possession and Peter Glen-Ravenhill thundered an effort into the side netting. Again, Benfield caught a visiting player in possession, allowing Cyril Giraud to thread the ball to Brayson, whose low effort was inches past the post. All of this action in the opening 10 minutes failed to produce the home goal that seemed both deserved and inevitable, resulting in a short period of retrenchment by the visitors, followed by a spell of dominance by them.

Andy Grainger has just turned 37, but he showed the athleticism of a player half his age, by completing a fine series of saves. He leapt to his right to turn a ferocious effort by Wilson round the post. From the ensuing corner, he went high to his left to claw away Lewis Green’s first-time effort. These saves were both essential and perhaps instructive, as Benfield took the lead with a textbook predator’s tap-in by Brayson, who has himself recently celebrated his 42ndbirthday, profiting from a handling error by Thornaby keeper James Dawson, who failed to gather a seemingly straightforward effort from Aiden Haley. On the stroke of half-time, Dawson redeemed himself to an extent, by bravely blocking a Glen-Ravenhill effort following another memorable through ball by Giraud.


Thornaby came out for the second period in determined fashion. A shout for a penalty was waved away, before they drew level when Daniel Chapman hit a swerving effort that Grainger got a hand to but could not keep out. The league format of the competition meant Thornaby were seemingly happy to try and claim a point from their travels, so they withdrew and scarcely had an effort worthy of the name for the rest of the match. This suited Benfield, who restored the lead on 58 minutes. Mark Turnbull, as ever turning in an accomplished and dominant performance in the centre of defence, sprayed a ball out to Jake Turnbull on the right wing. His thunderous, low cross was met at the back post by Matty Parker, who burst the net with a super diving header. It was a goal fit to win any game and emblematic of the high-quality fare served up by the home side in the second period. Another almost followed as a splendid passing move ended with Dawson tipping Aiden Haley’s effort away from the top corner at full stretch.


The biggest cheer of the night was afforded to the returning

Lewis Scorgie, who replaced skipper Turnbull for the last 15 minutes, following a 15-month absence because of a knee injury sustained at Bishop Auckland in May 2018. It was wonderful to have him back, though we’ll draw a discreet veil over the yellow card he received for a somewhat mistimed tackle that could be blamed on rustiness. Meanwhile the top hat was put on proceedings by Dennis Knight, who scored a simply sumptuous goal from a James Novak short free-kick, accepting the ball in his stride, advancing into the area, drawing Dawson into a premature dive, slotting the ball home across the despairing keeper and assuring the 3 points for Benfield on a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Match Report Ashington v Newcastle Benfield -Ebac Northern League Division 1

Benfield’s bright and stylish new yellow away made its debut at a blustery Woodhorn Lane, where the players inside it singularly failed to tame the elements and were comprehensively outplayed by a passionate and spirited Colliers side, whose limited, direct football was more than a match for Benfield’s more cerebral approach. Indeed, this was probably the worst Benfield versus Ashington game since the dismal 0-0 at Sam Smith’s in April 2005.

Ashington began the game with the strong, gusting wind behind their backs, though twice in the opening minutes Paul Brayson came close to putting The Lions ahead. Firstly, a long punt forward that he took with his chest simply wouldn’t come down and Colliers keeper Adam McHugh gratefully grabbed the ball. Secondly, Brayson flicked a low Aiden Haley cross just too high at the near post. Peter Glen-Ravenhill accepted a Brayson backheel, but saw his shot almost blown backwards by the stiff breeze.


The game exploded on the half hour when Ashington took the lead in the most fortunate of circumstances. Andy Grainger’s strong save down to his right from a Dominic Price effort bounced against skipper Mark Turnbull’s shins and dribbled across the line apologetically. Stung into a response, Benfield equalised soon after when Brayson delightfully curled the ball round McHugh after accepting a superb flick from Cyril Giraud who had been fed in turn by Matty Wade. Unfortunately, parity was only short lived, as a suspiciously offside looking Damien Stevens tapped the ball home from close in. He almost made it 3-1 on the stroke of half time, but Grainger saved well when coming off his line to block.

Unfortunately, it got no better after the break as the visitors appeared sluggish and uninspired when looking for a way back into the game. Twice Andy Grainger was called into action to deny Stevens with tips round the post as Ashington substitute Daniel O’Reilly took control of the game, making it safe for the home side when firing a loose ball home from the edge of the area. In response, Benfield’s own Dennis Knight was a livewire for the visitors when he joined the fray on the hour, but despite a couple of decent chances for Brayson and Glen-Ravenhill, Ashington deservedly held on, bringing Benfield’s run of 5 successive wins at Woodhorn Lane to an end.

 Match report

Ian Cusack


Steve Boyle