Sunderland Rca Match Report

Following the exciting, though draining and ultimately disappointing FA Cup exit away to Workington on Tuesday night, Newcastle Benfield returned to Northern League action with visit of Sunderland RCA. The Wearside outfit had been Benfield’s opponents on the opening day of the season, when a Paul Brayson goal gave the visitors victory at a sun-drenched Meadow Park. A star performer that day had been Andrew Grainger and it was a bonus to see him back between the sticks, though this was balanced by the unavailability of the holidaying Scott McCarthy and the weekending Dale Pearson. While he has been Benfield’s star performer so far this season, his presence in Barcelona was purely for recreational purposes as he’s not quite ready for Camp Nou just yet.

As early as the 4th minute Grainger proved his worth, by saving with his legs from Mark Davison, though this was a rare incursion up field by the visitors in an opening 10 minutes entirely dominated by Benfield. On 6 minutes, David Robinson’s excellent Crossfield ball set Dennis Knight away and the striker’s powerfully struck low drive was beaten away by Scott Pocklington. Moments later the ball was recycled to Robinson whose testing effort was parried by Pocklington.

The opening goal came after 10 minutes when Davison took aim and attempted to curl one in at the far post. However, it was sailing harmlessly wide when it struck Mark Turnbull who, fresh from being credited with Tuesday’s final goal, could do nothing about the ball ending up in his own net. It was a fluke, but the instantaneous equaliser was not. Josh Scott, stirring memories of his picture book finish in the last home league game against Whitley Bay, executed a perfect low drive into the corner of the net. RCA threatened again when Dominic Moan broke the offside trap but sliced an attempted lob hopelessly wide. Moments later, he was presented with a clear run at goal when Matty Grieve pulled up in agony. Thankfully, Mark Turnbull came in with a superb clearing tackle and Grieve was able to continue after extensive treatment. The lengthy stoppage drew all the passion and spark from the game, which was played at walking pace without incident until the break.

If home supporters had entertained the hope that the second half would bring a better performance, they were to be quickly disabused of such fanciful notions, as Benfield produced 45 minutes as poor as the dreadful loss to Stockton Town a fortnight previous. From the moment a limping Dennis Knight was withdrawn, Benfield offered absolutely nothing going forward. RCA offered little themselves, though they did have Dominic Moan, whose two interventions were crucial in winning the game. Firstly, he appeared at the back post to tap in Davison’s deflected effort on 56 minutes. Worse was to follow 10 minutes later; a leisurely break by RCA became a crisis as the Benfield defence stood off Moan, allowing him to stroke a low drive home without the sniff of a challenge. The home side made one final chance; Jordan Laidler’s free kick was nodded a fraction over angle of bar and post by an unmarked Turnbull, meaning there wasn’t even a consolation to take the edge off the pain of another defeat.

Match Report

Ian cusack

Photos

Callum Boyle

Website

Steve Boyle

Match coverage (to be uploaded)

Luke Vinton

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FA CUP Replay

WORKINGTON 5

NEWCASTLE BENFIELD 3

A breathless FA Cup replay in front of almost 500 hardy souls, gathered at the elderly but charmingly atmospheric Borough Park on a gusty night in West Cumbria saw 8 goals scored and the home side advance to play Knaresborough in the Second Qualifying Round, but only after a game and resourceful Newcastle Benfield performance that tested Workington’s mettle to the absolute limit. The magnificent fightback in the second period that left the Reds rocking was ultimately all in vain, as the opening 10 minutes had given the Lions too exacting a task to complete.

An encouraging opening that saw Benfield show clear desire to keep the ball was rendered irrelevant when the returning Scott Allison punished fatal hesitation by Benfield stand-in keeper Matthew Bancroft, tapping home at the back post. If the concession of an early goal was not in the script for the visitors, then going 2-0 down in the 9th minute was a catastrophic blow. Carlisle United loanee Max Brown juggled a loose ball outside the box and, on the half turn, sent a speculative shot over his right shoulder that seemed to startle Bancroft, lobbing him almost on his line and in the centre of the goal. Benfield were stunned and a litany of misplaced passes and hurried clearances showed the parlous nature of the tie. The accompanying cacophonous braying of a skein of nearby geese could almost have been taken as an avian Greek chorus’s comments on the quality of Benfield’s defending. However, they grew into the game and twice Dennis Knight almost pulled a goal back. Firstly a through ball by James Martin saw Knight through on keeper Aaron Taylor, but his measured dink was only a foot or so over the crossbar as the Workington custodian advanced. Soon after, Taylor again thwarted Knight, tipping a deflected long range effort round the post.

When the final significant act of the first period was Taylor’s impressive stretch to grasp Dale Pearson’s impudent attempt at a lob, the chat during further wonderful hospitality by Workington at the break, was how the Lions could be level and were certainly still in the tie. Rash words it seemed, as an early cheaply conceded corner was bundled home by Sam Joel who, for the entirety of both games, had appeared to Workington’s weakest link. At 3-0 down, there seemed only dignity to play for, but how quickly games can change. Dale Pearson, who appears to be having a personal Goal of the Season contest, crashed in an unstoppable 30 yard rocket just after the hour. Emboldened by this, the Lions poured forward and won a corner. Knight’s delivery was superb and the on-rushing Joe Robson buried a header emphatically in the bottom corner. Dare we believe even more than we dream? The chance came after 77 minutes; Paul Brayson, on from the bench, intercepted a weak defensive header and bore down on Taylor. The keeper stood big and deflected the ball away. Two other half chances fell the way of Josh Scott, but one was deflected and the other, courtesy of a sumptuous Mackenzie Heaney ball, was smothered by the advancing Taylor.

After 35 minutes of impotence as an attacking threat, Workington broke Benfield hearts twice within a minute. Firstly, Rhys Evans was desperately unfortunate to deflect a low cross into his own net, to seemingly end things, before Bancroft allowed a tame effort from Sheldon Mossop to dribble over the line. However, there was one last hurrah. Having been denied by the fingertips of Taylor from a rising drive, Dennis Knight opened his Benfield account with a thumping volley from the subsequent corner. The final whistle sounded almost immediately and Benfield bowed out of the FA Cup; dignity intact but still with a nagging sense of what if? Workington advance with all of our best wishes after wonderful hospitality by a wonderful club.

Fa Cup Workington

In a tight and tense encounter where both chances and free-flowing football were at a premium, Newcastle Benfield more than matched their illustrious, former Football League opponents and thoroughly merited the chance of a replay at Derwent Park on Tuesday night. Despite being two divisions below their Cumbrian opponents, Benfield were in no way overawed by Workington. However, things may not have gone so well if debutant keeper Matthew Bancroft, deputising for the holidaying Andrew Grainger, had not benefitted from a generous refereeing decision to call a foul by a Workington player at a corner, coinciding with Bancroft dropping the ball into his own net.

Following this escape, Dennis Knight twice almost put the home side ahead. After 5 minutes, his powerful low drive was parried by Reds keeper Aaron Taylor, who was quick off his line soon after to clear Knight’s astute through ball to Dale Pearson. On 20 minutes, Jake Orrell’s cross from the right just evaded the on-rushing Knight who appeared to have a tap in at the back post. While it would be inaccurate to say Benfield were on top, as the majority of possession rested with the visitors, the home side were able to keep Workington at arm’s length and restrict the flow of chances, in marked contrast to the Whitley Bay debacle. This was partly due to the tireless graft in central midfield by the returning Alex Nisbet who performed an admirable job from the very first whistle. Reaching the break with a blank score line seemed a fair reflection of the balance of play.

Twice early in the second half, Knight’s vision created chances for The Lions. Firstly, he fed Jake Orrell on the edge of the box, but a posse of red-shirted defenders crowded him out. Secondly, he set Dale Pearson away down the left and the powerful striker lashed a low effort into the side netting. Then, the sucker punch that was always waiting; after an extended bout of pinball in the box, that saw several efforts half cleared from near the line, the ball finally fell to Niall Cowperthwaite to lash home from close range on 57 minutes. However, The Lions came back strongly after manager Convery made a triple substitution. Two of them, Dean Holmes and Paul Brayson, combined for Brayson to square the ball in the box for the on-rushing Pearson to lash a low shot home and give the majority of the 300 crowd a moment to savour. In the remaining 15 minutes, the only side who looked likely to win were Benfield, but time ran out and the score stayed 1-1.

Manager Mark Convery

Pleased with the performance I thought we dealt with them well and without us being at our best going forward think there is a lot more to come from us. In terms of tuesdays replay we will go there full of confidence and everybody will be up for it to get us into the next round

Newcastle Benfield 1 Whitley Bay 6

After Saturday’s disappointing home loss to Stockton Town, manager Mark Convery rang the changes for the visit of Whitley Bay. Firstly, and unavoidably, new signing Callum Anderson arrived from South Shields to take the place of the holidaying Andrew Grainger in goal. Secondly, Craig Scott returned to central defence to partner Mark Turnbull, with the hitherto ever-present Joe Robson dropping to the bench. Thirdly, new signing David Robinsonwho arrived from the recently defunct Blyth AFC in the hours before kick-off, took the place of Dylan McEvoy in central midfield. Dylan had been the victim of a studs-up challenge against Stockton on Saturday and the sight of him hobbling into the ground on crutches, as well as news of ligament damage, suggest he will be missing for the rest of this season. Fourthly, also in midfield, Richie Slaughter returned to replace Jordan Laidler and finally, Dennis Knight made his full debut with Scott McCarthy dropping to the bench.

Unfortunately, these alterations made no appreciable difference as The Lions fell to their heaviest home defeat since a loss by the same score to Morpeth Town in January 2015. While Benfield were architects of their own demise, with the defence playing as if they’d never met each other before kick-off, nothing should be taken away from a vastly improved Whitley Bay side. The Seahorses bore no resemblance to the side effortlessly cuffed aside by The Lions in the final game of last season, nor the outfit who fell to an 8-0 loss at Dunston earlier in the season.

In the first seconds, Whitley almost took the lead in calamitous fashion, when a bout of pinball saw Craig Scott almost inadvertently turn the ball into his own net, with keeper Armstrong beaten. Luckily the post intervened and the ball bounced away. The relief was temporary as the visitors took the lead in the 10th minute when a cross from the right was nodded powerfully home by the diving, though crucially unmarked, Luke Salmon from the edge of the six-yard box. Worse was to follow on 13 minutes when Olly Martin headed in a complete fluke. On the far aside of the box, he attempted to return an overhit cross, but misdirected it and the looping, spinning ball dropped unintentionally into the net.

While every cross seemed likely to provide the visitors with another goal, Benfield struggled to get a toehold in the game. Dennis Knight, who was one of the few to really impress on the night, dropped the shoulder on the edge of the box and turned to curl a delicious effort that pinged the post and bounced away. On 28 minutes, Rhys Evans sent Paul Brayson free, but the veteran striker was only able to hit the ball against the advancing Tom Flynn and the danger was cleared. This period of sustained pressure saw Whitley defending desperately, but the problem of failing to get the ball in the net that has been plaguing Benfield all season was again evident and consequently the depressing predictability with which Whitley added a third before half time was another hammer blow to the home side. Jack Foalle, who had tormented The Lions in his Bedlington days, accepted a cross from Olly Martin before drilling a low shot into the corner.

After the brief respite of half time, the game recommenced with one side attacking in waves and the other defending desperately. The astonishing thing is that it was Benfield who were on top. Brayson sent a free kick inches wide with Flynn beaten. McCarthy, on for Brayson, provided a great low cross that Knight lashed into the side netting, before giving way to Josh Scott, whose first contribution was a thunderous strike from outside the box that gave Flynn no chance. Finally, The Lions had scored a home league goal. The direct and powerful running of the home side had Whitley absolutely rocking on their heels until another Olly Martin fluke on 78 minutes killed the recovery stone dead. Martin played a quick short corner, got the ball back and sent in a looping cross that sailed over everyone and into the far corner. To make the misery complete, Dan Taggart tapped in a fifth on 90 minutes and Foalle added an identical sixth straight from kick off. It truly was a night to forget and one where anything and everything that could go wrong did so.

We had a new visitor to the ground yesterday Benfield Benji🦔

Unfortunately he wasn’t a Lucky Mascot but was well cared for by Non League Fan Gary.

Newcastle Benfield welcomes Non League Dogs and HedgeHogs.

Newcastle Benfield 0 Stockton Town 2

An impotent second half display saw Newcastle Benfield tumble to their third successive league defeat, when Stockton Town’s muscular approach saw them claim a comprehensive victory that leaves The Lions wondering just how to deal with opposition schooled in physical, combative football.

The first half was the complete opposite. From the very first whistle Benfield seemed keen to build on last week’s excellent win over West Auckland, by playing exquisite one touch football on the ground. The contest developed into an intriguing contrast between the more direct style adopted by the visitors and the home team’s assured passing game. In the first minute a sumptuous through ball by Dylan McEvoy sent Scott McCarthy away, but he hesitated fatally, allowing keeper Michael Arthurs to block the eventual shot. However, a few minutes later, Stockton captain and eventual two-goal hero Adam Nicholson showed what danger lay in store, when he stabbed the ball against the back post from a corner.

Dylan McEvoy, whose afternoon was to be curtailed with an ankle injury following a crude, studs first challenge in the second period, was enjoying his return to a creative midfield role and almost put the Lions ahead with a vicious effort from distance that flew just wide on 20 minutes. Two minutes later McCarthy stood up an inviting cross from the right that Paul Brayson nodded just past the post. McEvoy sent Brayson through on goal, but the advancing Arthurs spread himself and deflected the ball away for a corner. Two in the final moments of the half Arthurs denied McCarthy with quality saves from testing shots in dangerous positions, but the whistle came with the score 0-0.

The defining incidents of the game came very early in the second period. Firstly, a quality delivery by Joe Robson just evaded the head of the unmarked Brayson. From the goal kick, Stockton swept forward, and Andy Grainger did well to block an effort by Michael Roberts at his near post. Sadly, it was a save in vain as the resultant corner was powered home by the unmarked Nicholson to give Stockton a lead they did not deserve, but one they protected superbly and eventually extended. Twice Benfield were denied a penalty, as firstly a trip on McCarthy on 58 minutes went unpunished and then on 70 minutes, substitute Jack Devlin was felled as he was about to fire home the rebound after Brayson’s diving header had hit the base of the post. Unfortunately, Brayson had been in an offside position initially and so the award of a spot kick was rescinded.

To add insult to injury, Stockton went forward and won a free kick on the right touchline. A quality ball in was headed gloriously into the net by Nicholson, to put the game to bed. It was an intensely frustrating afternoon for Benfield and it could have been worse as Sonni Coleman tapped in a loose ball but was thankfully signalled offside. No further incidents occurred as The Anchors effectively closed out what became a comfortable away win.

Man of the Match: Rhys Evans

Match report Ian Cusack

Photos Paul Mcfeeley

Website Steve Boyle

Newcastle Benfield 1 West Auckland 0

The result, a single goal victory for the home side, may have been the same as the previous Tuesday’s EBAC Northern League clash between the two sides, but the two games were as different as diamonds and graphite.

Where the league game had been a low-key, cautious encounter, the FA Cup clash was a no-holds barred, blood and thunder, classic from the first whistle to the last. It was decided, just after the hour, by a stupendous volley from Dale Pearson, who continued to demonstrate the excellent form he has shown since his arrival in pre-season. Manager Mark Convery was forced into one significant change from Tuesday’s team, with Dylan McEvoy filling in at left back for the injured James Martin and producing an eye-catching display that earned him the Man of the Match accolade. However, he wasn’t alone in putting in a superb shift; Dale Pearson, as already mentioned, the reliable Mark Turnbull and the tireless Jake Orrell were all exceptional performers and an indication why Benfield started the game on the front foot.

As one could have predicted, the minimal difference in quality between the two impressive squads meant that there was very little to choose between them, with the referee being very keen to rule most strong challenges as fair and allowing the game to flow. The first significant chance came on 20 minutes, when Paul Brayson was tripped on the edge of the area. He took the kick himself and only a West Auckland defensive head’s intervention stopped the ball from arrowing into the top corner. At the other end, Andrew Grainger produced an incredible save from Nathan Fisher, spreading himself expertly to deny the marauding Auckland forward. Skipper Turnbull was expertly placed to nod away the follow-up effort by Aaron Wearmouth. One last chance before the break saw Orrell’s expertly executed pass set Brayson free on goal, but artful Auckland defending steered him away from goal and Pearson’s deflected effort with the loose ball bounced harmlessly into keeper Bland’s arms.

The second period saw Benfield again in the ascendancy. On 50 minutes Pearson’s corner was tipped onto the bar and then over by Bland. However, ten minutes later, a cross from the other side saw Pearson react quickly after a bout of pinball and smash an unstoppable volley past Bland into the roof of the net. West attempted to get back in the game but found little change from a mean Lions defence. Indeed, following the introduction of substitute Dennis Knight, it was the home side who looked most likely to score, as the visitors poured forward, leaving holes in their defence. Knight fired in two speculative shots that were a yard wide of either side of the goal. Despite a couple of late comic miskicks by Andy Grainger, the home side prevailed and will take their place in the first qualifying round on September 8th.

Man of the Match: Dylan McEvoy

Thanks to Newcastle Benfield Juniors for providing the Lucky Mascots 👍⚽️

Match report Ian cusack

Photos Paul Mcfeeley

Video coverage Luke Vinton

Website Steve Boyle

West Auckland 1 Newcastle Benfield 0

WEST AUCKLAND 1

NEWCASTLE BENFIELD 0

Newcastle Benfield failed to warm up for their forthcoming FA Cup tie with the hosts, turning in a tepid performance in a turgid game. Indeed, the first half was so forgettable that the first incident of note didn’t occur until the 35th minute when Scott McCarthy, starting in a centre forward role as part of a much-changed team, drove into the penalty area before having his legs swept from under him. A spot kick was the inevitable decision and, with regular penalty taker Paul Brayson on the bench, the responsibility fell to Ritchie Slaughter. His effort sent home keeper Shane Bland the wrong way, but the powerful shot struck the top of the bar and went over. Despite Benfield spending the rest of the half in the ascendancy, there was collective awareness of the pivotal nature of this miss, as this game was only ever going to be decided by a single goal.

Within two minutes of the restart, West Auckland had taken the lead through Lewis Dodds, who collected a loose ball at the edge of the box and sent in a weak, mishit effort that bobbled against the inside of the post and dribbled apologetically over the line. It was an awful goal to settle an awful game. Indeed, other than a Nathan Fisher effort midway through the second half, which was expertly tipped round the post by the flying Grainger, West demonstrated little interest in being an attacking force, comfortably absorbing the minimal threat of a frustrated Benfield attack.

Despite three changes leading to redoubled Benfield efforts that saw Bland spread himself to deny Jordan Laidler’s free kick and then the follow up by Rhys Evans, little went the way of the visitors, as the home side showed superb organisation. Benfield were unable to get around or through the West defence until a delicate Jake Orrell cross was met at the back post by an on-rushing Mark Turnbull. The skipper’s full-blooded volley was superbly clawed away by Bland and with this, Benfield’s hopes of getting anything from the game were snuffed out.

Man of the Match: Mark Turnbull

Shildon 3 NBFC 2

SHILDON 3

NEWCASTLE BENFIELD 2

Manager Mark Convery was handed a pre-match blow when Craig Scott, who had turned in 4 successive outstanding displays since joining Benfield in the summer, dropped out with a hamstring injury. On the plus side, this meant the return to competitive action 11 months out with a broken leg for Matty Grieve, though he’d probably hoped for a quieter 90 minutes than attempting to keep tabs on the elusive, dominant Billy Greulich-Smith.

Elsewhere, Benfield were unchanged and continued from where they left off against Stockton town in midweek, impressively spraying the ball around through midfield and down both flanks, though only after Jack Blackford showed a hint of the home side’s pace and power, racing onto a through ball, then rounding Andy Grainger but slicing wide from a tight angle. In response, The Lions roared back, with Dale Pearson’s angled drive being deflected onto the bar and Paul Brayson drawing a fine save from Shaun Newbrook following Jake Orrell’s cross. Orrell set up Dale Pearson for the opening goal on 20 minutes with an astute pass, before the powerful striker finished strongly into the bottom corner.

Shildon are not title favourites for nothing and within 8 minutes they were ahead. Firstly, Matty Robson turned Rhys Evans inside out at right back, then fired in the equaliser through the legs of the advancing Grainger.  Robson was involved minutes later when his cross was nodded down by the imposing Gruelich-Smith for Ben Trotter to sidefoot home from 6 yards. It was a poor goal to concede, though Benfield were almost instantly level when Richie Slaughter’s vicious drive was palmed round the post by Newbrook. The last play of the half saw Orrell’s speculative long-range effort tipped over by a scrambling Newbrook.

Twice in the opening minutes of the second period Paul Brayson was denied an equaliser. Firstly, he was flagged offside after slotting a loose ball home and then a swerving free kick was tipped over by Newbrook. On the hour, Scott McCarthy was introduced for Jake Orrell and on several occasions, he found space on the right, but his crosses eluded the Benfield attack on every occasion.  Dennis Knight was introduced for his debut on 65 minutes, replacing Joe Robson, and showed some sparkling, inventive touches. Sadly, a mix-up between Benfield’s two longest serving players, captain Mark Turnbull and keeper Andy Grainger, handed Robson an open goal that he took with glee.

Despite this setback, Benfield spent the remainder of the game on the front foot, with McCarthy, Devlin, Slaughter and Knight all denied in one desperate move. However, an excellent drive from distance by Dale Pearson did halve the deficit with minutes remaining. Sadly it was only a consolation as the visibly tiring home side held out for the win, in a game that Benfield played a full part in, but can be disappointed by aspects of their defending.

Man of the Match:

James Martin

Match Highlights

⚽️👇

Really disappointed as we never got started and looked very unorganised at times which is not how we set up and look to play, having said that even on an off day and three goals that we give away we still should of rescued at least a point from the game. It’s a set back but it’s part of the game and we will ensure to put it right on Tuesday

Craig Heward

Assistant Manager

3 very sloppy goals to concede which we need to cut out! On the plus side we were not at our best and still should have taken something from the game but we have to start taking our chances not just in todays game but the games prior as well but when we stop creating them then that is the time to worry!!

Match Report

Ian Cusack

Match highlights

Luke Vinton

Website

Steve Boyle

Stockton 0 NBFC 3

Having failed to take the chances that would have eased their progress through the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie with Stockton Town at the first time of asking, Newcastle Benfield made no mistake in the replay at a rain-lashed Bishopton Road, producing a ruthless, dominant performance in which they controlled the game from first kick to last and were demonstrably a cut above their opponents in every position on the park. The 3-0 away win, which sets up a home tie against West Auckland Town on Saturday 25th August, in no way flattered The Lions, as Stockton keeper Michael Arthurs performed miracles to keep the score respectable. Stockton’s 4G pitch, with an added degree of zip from the deluge that began an hour before kick-off, was suited to Benfield’s high-tempo, short, passing game. Skipper Mark Turnbull returned at the centre of defence for his first game of the season, allowing Joe Robson to push forward into midfield and produce another eye-catching display, while Dale Pearson came in for Dean Holmes as the attacking left sided player and gave a stunning Man of the Match display that demonstrates the depth and quality of the squad manager Mark Convery and Craig Heward have assembled.

Similar to Saturday’s first game, Benfield were on top from the first whistle. On 7 minutes Paul Brayson’s cross was fractionally too high for Jake Orrell, while Dylan McEvoy’s speculative effort a minute later thudded into keeper Arthurs’ midriff. Brayson saw a close range effort deflected onto the outside of the post on 10 minutes and soon after saw his shot hit the crossbar as the away side swarmed all over their opponents. After 25 minutes, Benfield drew breath and saw the hosts twice have attempts on goal, by the aptly-named Michael Stockton and then Dale Mulligan that Andrew Grainger was equal to. Just as it seemed the game was becoming a contest, Dylan McEvoy’s sumptuous pass into the feet of Dale Pearson allowed the impressive striker to finish unerringly into the bottom corner to give Benfield a deserved lead on 34 minutes. This became 2-0 on 42 minutes when the Stockton failed to cut out a ball to Paul Brayson. The veteran striker ran free on the left side of the area, before pulling the ball back to Jake Orrell who gleefully smashed it home. It was almost 3-0 seconds later when an astute pass by Joe Robson set Brayson in on goal, but his touch let him down. The final act of the half saw Andy Grainger confidently hold a long-range free kick from James Ward.

Seconds after the restart, Arthurs distinguished himself with a stunning low save to deny Brayson’s venomous volley from the edge of the area. Twice Dale Pearson saw Arthurs deny him; once from a deft lob and once from a speculative dig from distance. Finally it was 3-0, when Dale Mulligan scythed down Brayson in the area. The penalty and red card were inevitable but, having seen his kick saved in the first game, Brayson was taking nothing for granted and lashed the ball into the roof of the net. With the game won, Convery made changes, allowing Jack Devlin, Mackenzie Heaney and Dean Holmes to gain valuable time on the pitch. The three of them repeatedly set up promising attacks, but desperate and at times heroic defending by the tenacious hosts ensured there would be no further goals. At the other end, trademark excellence by Andy Grainger saw a clean sheet maintained on what was a superb night for Benfield.

Man of the Match: Dale Pearson

Really pleased to get through against a really good Stockton Town team. We had some good cup runs last year and it’s important to the club in terms of the finances. I’m pleased with the start we have made but still feel there is a lot more to come from this group of players and looking forward to our next game

Mark Convery

Craig Heward added

Full value for the win and if we look back it should have been more very pleasing to keep another clean sheet which is 1 goal conceded in 4 games and the goals look like they are beginning to come so very pleased with performance and result and looking forward to the next round

Match Report Ian cusack

Action photos courtesy of Harold Cook photography

Website -Steve Boyle

Match footage by Luke Vinton

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