Newcastle Benfield v Ryhope CW. Ebac Northern League Division 1

After two dispiriting defeats against Whickham and then Stockton Town, Newcastle Benfield return to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over a strong, impressive Ryhope CW side in a close and absorbing contest at Sam Smith’s Park. The game got off to a scintillating start, with returning former Benfield striker Jack Devlin failing to find a clean connection when unmarked in the six-yard box, with the ball bobbling towards Mark Turnbull, who shepherded it back to the safe hands of Andrew Grainger. The Benfield keeper’s prodigious throw set James Martin away and the young player covered the ground at breakneck pace, bursting into the opposition area, but failing to set himself on his favoured left foot, resulting in an effort from his weaker right side being deflected back to visiting keeper Joe Atkinson.

This was only a temporary respite for Ryhope, as just on 10 minutes, Benfield skipper Turnbull went on a surging run, exchanging an astute one-two with Paul Brayson to find himself in on goal, with only Atkinson to beat. The ball ended up in the back of the net, but in somewhat bizarre circumstances after Turnbull lost his footing and appeared to manoeuvre it across the line with his upper thighs. No matter, The Lions had the lead. Almost immediately Ryhope ought to have been level, when the always dangerous James Ellis crossed for Devlin, only for the former Stoke hit man to completely miss his kick. Inspired by this, Ryhope took a grip on the game, with the impressive Ollie Hotchkiss imperious in central midfield. He set up Ellis on 32 minutes after intercepting a James Novak clearance. Ellis drove the ball towards the top corner, but Andrew Grainger made a superb save. Sadly, it was another temporary respite, as from the resulting corner Ellis forced the ball home from close range.

Benfield were not excessively discomfited and scored what would be the winner less than 2 minutes later. Dennis Knight’s corner sailed over Armstrong’s unavailing jump, allowing Brayson to nip in and head in, without a visiting defender in attendance. From that point until the break, Benfield launched wave after wave of attacks, but were unable to force the ball home. Both James Martin and Brayson were inches away from increasing the home team’s lead as Ryhope rode their luck, going in 2-1 down at half time.

The second period saw a change in the game’s dynamics, with Ryhope in the ascendancy and Benfield displaying impressive fortitude to hold out for the win. As early as 46 seconds into the half, the magnitude of the task became apparent, when Devlin knocked a loose ball home, only to be flagged offside. On 52 minutes, Devlin’s vicious snapshot was palmed upwards onto the bar and over for a corner by a hypervigilant Grainger.

As the game drew on, the increasingly capricious decisions of referee Shane Sugden baffled and bewildered both sides.

Ryhope were unlucky when substitute Robbie Bird turned on the edge of the box and sent a rising drive against the bar and upwards. As the game moved towards stoppage time, Ryhope again had the ball in the net, but it was disallowed for a clear foul on Andy Grainger and that was to be their final hurrah. With Dennis Knight being forced off with an ankle knock, this allowed Steve Bowey to return to the fold and enjoy his fourth Benfield debut. Without question his energy, drive, superb tackling and organisational skills were vital in ensuring the home team took all 3 points in an exhilarating fashion.


Man of the Match: 

James Martin

Match Report Ian Cusack

Photos website Steve Boyle

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Newcastle Benfield Match report v Stockton Town -Ebac Northern League Division 1

On a baking hot Saturday afternoon in Flaming June, I’ll somnolently set aside a crisp, continental beer and tear my attention away from the mellifluous sounds on leather on willow as my beloved Tynemouth build another impregnable total in the North East Premier League and sigh, because I miss football so much. Then I’ll remember this game.

Back in August Benfield visited Stockton Town in an FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round replay and tore them to ribbons, winning 3-0 with a slick display of fast, incisive football that augured so well for the season. However, like most of the early promise of this campaign, it was illusory and a fortnight later the Anchors had their revenge with an untroubled 2-0 win at Sam Smith’s in a league game. After Saturday’s bizarre loss to Whickham, the outcome of this one seemed unpredictable. In the end, it was a depressing re-enactment of last season’s equally sobering thumping, as another 4-0 defeat was all we had to show for a trip down and back up the A19. Fair play to Stockton, they were hungrier and more incisive from the off. In fact, it took 31 minutes for Benfield to muster their first serious effort on goal, when Rhys Evans sent a thunderous 25 yard strike a shade over the bar. This was an encouraging sight, not least because we were already 2-0 down by that point.

The opening goal came after 5 minutes and was the first serious goal attempt of the game. A near interchange of passes between Roberts and Hayes left the former in on goal and he calmly placed the ball under the advancing Dan Nimmons, who was enjoying a rare start in goal to gain some game time before the League Cup semi final against Whitley Bay, when Andrew Grainger will be unavailable. Neither the floodgates opened nor a plucky rearguard kicked into action, as the game passed in low-intensity, aimless passing forwards and backwards, with no real attempt at penetration from either side, until Roberts doubled his and Stockton’s tally with a glorious header from a Craggs cross that was disturbingly similar to Andrew Bulford’s second goal for Whickham on Saturday previous. Benfield did then enjoy more possession but offered no real threat other than the Evans effort.

The second half started with a flurry of home attacks, but little came of it and the game settled into a half-paced, exhibition of short passing that was pleasing on the eye, until the whole edifice came tumbling down with an overhit pass, a misdirected cross or a shanked shot. Rhys Evans again came very close to getting on the score sheet, rifling an exact replica of his first half effort again just too high. Then the referee made the unjust and ridiculously harsh decision to send Reece Noble off for an innocuous trip in the centre circle on 70 minutes; a yellow card certainly, but never a red and enough to persuade the away side to hoist the white flag. Almost immediately, Fred Woodhouse’s misdirected shot cannoned off a wrongfooted James Novak and put the Anchors 3-0 ahead, before Hayes completed the scoring with a venomous low drive from the edge of the area that gave poor Nimmins not an earthly. Thankfully, the whistle soon blew, and the evening could be immediately forgotten about.

Man of the Match


Match Report Ian Cusack

Website Steve Boyle

Match Highlights Luke Vinton

Top Action photo Harry Cook


Match Report Newcastle Benfield v Whickham Ebac Northern League Division 1

On a day when almost the entire Northern League programme fell victim to the torrential overnight rain, Stan Thompson produced the trademark superb playing surface that Sam Smith’s Park is renowned for. There was never any question of this game being postponed. However, after a comprehensive defeat inflicted by the predatory finishing of Andrew Bulford, the superb distance shooting from Dale Burrell and the impressive passing of Matty Pattison, you’d be forgiven for hearing the odd mutter from Benfield fans who wished the heavens had opened even more profoundly. It just shows the quality of the Northern League first division.

Benfield were forced into one change from the side that won so convincingly away to Penrith the week before, with Dennis Knight starting in place of the unwell Jake Orrell, who was declared hors de combat late morning. Knight played a central role early on, being twice denied by impressive Whickham keeper Tsapalos. At the other end, Andrew Grainger went full length to turn away a stinging Burrell effort, with Bulford flashing the loose ball a shade wide. After 8 minutes Knight flicked home but was denied by the assistant’s flag. On 10 minutes, Dale Pearson swivelled to hit a Brayson cross against the upright. With 12 minutes gone, Knight volleyed a Rhys Evans pass just wide. After this explosive opening, things settled down to an even contest, until Bulford’s ludicrous miskick from a Burrell cross put Whickham ahead. He missed the ball entirely when trying to shoot, only for his standing leg to deflect the ball home. The same pair combined on 42 minutes, but this time Bulford’s finish was a beautiful header. It was a great goal.

Within 5 minutes of the restart, Benfield ought to have been level. First Knight and then Pearson fired left-footed efforts against the base of the far post and wide. For 10 minutes, Benfield absolutely battered Whickham, but simply couldn’t find a way through the opposition defence, but it was all to no avail as Burrell fired an unstoppable effort from 30 yards right into the top corner. It was an incredible finish, but Benfield kept going though absolutely nothing went for us, as we suffered one of those Performance of the Week batterings that happens from time to time. Grainger denied Bulford a hat trick on 65 minutes with an acrobatic one-handed save, but it only delayed the inevitable as the experienced striker cut inside and fired home on 80 minutes to make it 4-0.

Tsapalos again distinguished himself with a breathtaking save from Pearson, though James Martin was on hand to bundle the ball home. The final act of the game again had Tsapalos at the centre of things, pulling off a stunning one handed save to tip Brayson’s venomous effort round the post. Just one of those days unfortunately, but fair play to Whickham for pulling a rabbit out of the hat with this one.


Match Report

Ian Cusack

Photos/website Steve Boyle


Newcastle Benfield Match report v Penrith in the Ebac Northern League Division 1

Surveying the panoramic vista of the Eden Fella that lie across the River Eamont from Penrith’s scenic Frenchfield ground as the teams lined up in glorious sunshine, I mused that I’d not seen us win in Cumbria since that momentous evening in May 2009 when Andrew Young’s 86th minute winner brought the curtain down on the Bonny Blues’ former home at Southend Road and the Northern League title to Sam Smith’s Park. While my mind strayed back a decade, Penrith were more concerned with present day events and, straight from kick off, Martyn Coleman does what he always has against us; scored despite Andy Grainger’s best efforts. All hope of a clean sheet gone within 7 seconds. At that point, following the near 2 hour journey, made only after a precautionary pitch inspection, as one of only 4 Benfield fans there to support the lads, I questioned my sanity. However, after 4 seasons in one game, whereby we moved from brilliant sunshine, to ominous gloom, to bucketing rain and machine-gun hailstones and back to blinding sun within the course of 90 minutes, The Lions had produced a quadruple salvo that saw the final score replicate the result at Sam Smith’s back in November, resulting in a happy band of returning Lions wending our way up the M6 and across the A69.

Almost immediately after conceding, Benfield won a corner and Jake Orrell’s delivery was almost forced home by skipper Mark Turnbull, whose audacious bicycle kick drifted wide. After 12 minutes, Paul Brayson’s low cross from the right was exquisitely dummied by Man of the Match Dean Holmes, allowing Dale Pearson a good opportunity that he fired over the top. Holmes himself almost got The Lions level, when he worked some room in the box and stung keeper Johnny Jamieson’s palms with a good attempt. As the pitch that had looked immaculate at kick off become heavier and rutted with play, Benfield got themselves back on terms. Rhys Evans played a superb diagonal ball that was missed by Penrith centre back Kyle May, allowing Brayson to collect the loose ball and finish confidently from a tight angle. Brayson then almost turned provider, setting up Pearson, whose low effort was parried away by Jamieson. The visitors went ahead when a delightful move involving Brayson and Pearson set Holmes free and he beat Jamieson with a composed and classy finish. The half ended in torrential rain, with Matty Clarke firing well over when handily placed in the box for the home side.

Penrith were determined to get something from the game and on 52 minutes, Connor Shields hammered a loose ball against the post from the edge of the box. In a howling gale, accompanied by attendant sleet flurries, both sides battled the elements as well as each other, until a decisive shift in the balance of power was signalled by the unlucky Tyler Bowman sliding a dangerous James Novak cross into his own net at the midpoint of the second period. The sun came out and on came Scott McCarthy and the returning Dennis Knight. Dennis immediately sent Shock away, only for the speedy striker to collide with the diving Jamieson, who sustained an ankle injury and had to be substituted. This allowed home legend Willy Paul to enter the fray, on the day an extension to the Penrith clubhouse was opened in his name. There was to be no fairytale ending on the pitch for him. Indeed Andy Grainger denied master marksman Coleman twice, the second time with a brilliant one handed tip over, before Dennis Knight announced his return with a thumping left foot volley that made the final score harsh on the game, gallant and always welcoming Cumbrian hosts.

Man of the Match: 

Dean Holmes

Match Report Ian Cusack

Action photos thanks to

Ben France from Penrith

Website – Goal Coverage-still photos – Steve Boyle

Newcastle Benfield Match Report

The week began with glorious, unseasonal sunshine and unprecedented high temperatures for February, before turning back to gloomy, damp conditions more typical for the time of year, with the promise of Storm Freya’s arrival sometime on Sunday. Saturday itself was a combination of all the week’s weather in one day; a gloriously sunny opening that promised much, before a squally and unpleasant mid-section dampened proceedings before a late flurry of positivity ended things on an upbeat note. Somewhat fittingly, Newcastle Benfield versus Guisborough Town acceded to the same structure as the climactic frame of the day. 

Benfield, on the back of successive away wins against Ashington and North Shields, began in the same positive manner that has harvested such good results of late. In the second minute, Jake Orrell’s snapshot reared up and hit bemused visiting keeper Jordan Nixon flush in the face. However, the opposition captain showed incredible reactions to recover immediately and miraculously turn Dale Pearson’s point-blank attempt round the post. Nixon denied the same player from the resulting corner, tipping a speculative effort over the top. From the next corner Pearson fed Orrell, whose effort beat Nixon but was hacked desperately off the line. A minute later, Paul Brayson’s low effort was deflected into the side netting. Nixon matched his earlier heroics on 20 minutes, when he raced from his line to stand tall and block an effort from the advancing Brayson. 

For the first 30 minutes, Benfield were absolutely torturing Guisborough, but the Priorymen held on grimly and even had their own first effort on goal, as Mason McNeill’s shot from distance whistled a foot too high while the sky began to bruise, and broiling clouds darkened the day. Play similarly deteriorated, as a fussy referee intervened with unnecessary regularity to insist on free kicks instead of advantage as a matter of choice. Just when Guisborough must have felt it had been a job well done, Benfield took the lead from the scruffiest goal of the season. Dean Holmes collected a long pass with eye-catching fluency then fired in an effort on goal. Nixon’s block ricocheted insanely before apologetically bobbling home off the unfortunate Matthew Lovatt in the last minute of the half.

After a half time made memorable by the presence of Brie and absence of soup from the buffet, the game continued in the scruffy fashion of the latter part of the opening half. Even so it was a tremendous shock when Danny Earl’s precise finish from a free kick floated into the box and nodded down by the towering Lovatt brought the visitors level. As the clouds passed over, a fascinating contest emerged between the muscular, committed visitors and the close passing game of The Lions. Both sides looked dangerous in different ways, though the majority of chances went the way of Benfield. Pearson fed Brayson who screwed an effort just wide, while Andy Grainger raced heroically from his line to head away a long kick from Nixon, before instinctively blocking an Earl effort on the break.

This was to prove crucial as soon after a great ball out of defence by Mark Turnbull set Dale Pearson free down the left. His cross for Paul Brayson was pinpoint accurate as the veteran frontman showed exquisite footwork to throw the entire Guisborough defence a dummy before stroking the ball home to claim another home win for The Lions.


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

Click on the link below

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

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