Consett 3 Newcastle Benfield 1 Match Report

Newcastle Benfield made the trip up to Consett for their first Group D fixture in the revamped Brooks Mileson League Cup, where Bedlington Terriers, Brandon United and Thornaby will provide the other opposition. The top 2 sides from 8 groups provide the last 16. Manager Stuart Elliott, aware of the complexities in this new format, rang the changes after Saturday’s disappointing defeat in the FA Cup and with one eye on the weekend fixture at Ashington. Starting berths were handed to Jake Turnbull, Ben Richardson, Kurtis Russell and Dennis Knight.

 

After a wonderfully observed minutes applause for Jimmy Rowe, the match began as the Derwentside temperature began to drop. The opening quarter comprised a passage of play, whereby the sides contested proceedings in the midfield area with neither Andrew Grainger nor Kyle Hayes having much to deal with. Ex Benfield man Dale Pearson was keen to impress against his former club, but his first effort sailed over the bar. As the first half progressed, Consett began to build momentum without unduly testing Grainger with the back four of Novak, Turnbull (M), Kanda and Turnbull (J) standing firm. Although there was a major let off for the Lions as Pearson hit a post as he continued to try and impress. There was controversy in the 34th  minute as a firm challenge from Kanda on Pearson left our hosts convinced there had been an infringement and that a penalty would be awarded but the officials were unmoved, and a goal kick was the outcome. Kyle Hayes was called into action after a snapshot from Knight but saved the chance without being troubled. Consett continued to press as the half came to a close but Benfield remained resolute in their defending, meaning that the score at half time was Consett 0 Newcastle Benfield 0.

 

The second half began in much the same manner as the first half with most of the activity in the contested in central areas. Just under the hour mark, Benfield made a change with Parker replacing Jake Turnbull. Benfield were now offering more of a threat going forward with Knight and Turnbull having good opportunities. This bright play was rewarded after 61 minutes when a miskick from Baltazar fell perfectly for Glen-Ravenhill who stroked the Lions into the lead and in the process continued his own rich vein of form with his third goal in two games.

Consett continued to press as they searched for an equaliser and the 71st minute this came after a soft free kick was given away in a central position. Inevitably it was Dale Pearson who struck a brilliant effort past a despairing Grainger. The rain started to fall as we entered the last quarter hour with both sides sensing an opening day victory in the Cup was well within their grasp. With 10 minutes to go, Cyril Giraud replaced Baltazar as the tempo from both sides increased. Sadly, on 84 minutes Benfield fell behind as Pearson bagged his second with a fine effort across Grainger. There would be no way back as Consett scored a third in stoppage time after a swift break was finished by Alshabeeb, meaning the final score was Consett 3 Newcastle Benfield 1.

Match Report

Kev larkham

MOM Meesha Kandu

 

 

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Newcastle Benfield 2 Runcorn Town 3 Emirates FACUP

After an immaculately observed minute’s silence, where the focus was on all the sides in Newcastle Benfield’s Junior Section, and a rousing minute’s applause in remembrance and celebration of our dear departed chairman and founder Jimmy Rowe, The Lions sadly could not get the win we all desperately craved. However, while the FA Cup is the greatest club competition in world football, today was all about paying tribute to Jimmy at the end of a traumatic week. In all honesty, Runcorn Town deserved to win the game as the emotional weight of the occasion seemed to inhibit many of our players, who struggled to do themselves justice in front of a bumper crowd, swelled by the presence of former players, as well as friends and family of our Jimmy.

After a cagey opening, Runcorn drew first blood when a ball across the edge of the box found the towering Shaun Weaver, more often to be found putting himself about in midfield with a series of borderline lunges, on the left-hand side. He took a steadying touch, before calmly stroking the ball under Andy Grainger. Runcorn were well on top, with the flowing locks of Joe Holt at the centre of everything creative, though it was Craig Cairns who kissed the outside of the post with a curling effort at the midpoint of the half. Benfield finally came into the contest on the half hour when Matty Parker ghosted in at the back post, but fired his shot into the ground and just over the bar, though it did deceive a number of younger supporters who were still celebrating after the goal kick had restarted play.

Soon the home fans were celebrating for real. Paul Brayson scuffed his effort to turn home a glorious Guilherme Balthazar cross on the six-yard line, only for the ball to fall for Peter Glen-Ravenhill, who scored with a precise chip over keeper Adam Reid. Scarcely believably, Benfield were ahead a minute later when James Novak’s delightful through ball allowed Glen-Ravenhill to run onto the ball and finish emphatically as Reid came out to block. Runcorn were stirred not shocked and Dave Forbes burst through soon after, having to be denied by two instinctive Grainger blocks. Finally, the last action of the half saw Cyril Giraud’s sublime pass set Glen-Ravenhill away, whose low effort skimmed the outside of the post with Reid beaten.

 

If The Lions thought they’d done the hard part, there was a rude awakening 3 minutes into the second period when a low ball across field unaccountably arrived at the feet of substitute Richard McQuade who poked the ball home. Benfield were stung into a response, and almost regained the lead within a minute. Paul Brayson raced onto a loose back pass and effected a glorious back heel into the feet of Glen-Ravenhill, whose first time shot hit the outside of the post when a goal looked certain. Brayson was denied by the linesman’s flag after finishing from close range, before the crucial moment of the game.

Last year Richie Slaughter decided our FA Vase game with Runcorn at Sam Smith’s Park with a glorious curling effort; this time around it was Cairns who hit an instinctive dipping effort into the corner to give his side the lead. Despite skipper Mark Turnbull bulleting a header off the same spot on the outside of the post that Glen-Ravenhill had grazed, there was to be no equaliser as Runcorn, by artful game management, ran the clock down with few moments of panic. 

 

Regardless of the result, today was all about Jimmy Rowe. Indeed, the future will all be about Jimmy, as ever game we play will be a tribute to him.

Match Report Sunderland Rca v Newcastle Benfield Northern League Division 1

Newcastle Benfield’s unbeaten away record came to an end in an entertaining and open game at Meadow Park, where hosts Sunderland RCA came out on top in a 5-goal tussle. Manager Stuart Elliott was forced into changes, with Brad Varga missing out and Guilherme Balthazar only fit enough for the bench, necessitating Peter Glen-Ravenhill’s deployment as a right wing back. 

It has to be said Benfield didn’t help their cause with the concession of an early penalty; Aiden Haley barging over Dylan Elliott, who picked himself up and comfortably dispatched the spot kick. Despite playing with both the slope and breeze in their favour, Benfield struggled to make any early inroads as the hosts looked dangerous every time they came forward.  Indeed, The Lions were indebted to Matty Parker who headed a Greg Swansbury effort off the line after 17 minutes. 

Thankfully, as the half drew on, Benfield came more into the game. Peter Glen-Ravenhill almost got on the end of a diagonal Paul Brayson ball at the midpoint of the half. Subsequently, Brayson was thrice denied in quick succession; firstly, he intercepted a loose back pass before going around keeper Robert Dean, but the angle was impossibly tight, and he could only find the side netting. Secondly, he accepted a pass from Dennis Knight in the area, worked a yard of space and sent a low shot skimming past the outside of the post with Dean beaten. In the third instance, Dean denied Brayson with an instinctive block from the striker’s close-range header, following a dream of a cross from Ravenhill. 

While it may have been something of a surprise Benfield had not gone in level at the break, it was a situation Benfield sought to remedy in the second period. Ben Richardson sent a chipped ball over the RCA defence and Brayson took it calmly in his stride, before finishing astutely across the diving Dean. Unfortunately, all this good work came to nought as almost immediately from the restart, the home side restored their advantage when Ryan Leonard drove home from the edge of the box. Manager Elliott reacted to this by introducing Balthazar for Richardson and the Portuguese flyer began to create mischief from his first touch. However, it was the strength of Ritchie Slaughter, winning a loose ball in midfield, that helped fashion an equaliser. He set Brayson away and the striker advanced into the box, where referee Helen Conley noticed a foul that was not obvious to anyone else in the ground. Benfield accepted this slice of outrageously good fortune as Dennis Knight stroked the penalty home. 

 

Again, this was a false dawn. Leonard charged forward with the Benfield defence floundering in his wake. Twice he was denied by Andrew Grainger, before rolling the ball to the advancing Mark Davison, whose shot evaded both defenders on the line to give RCA a decisive lead they would not relinquish. Benfield came desperately close to an equaliser when Mechack Kanda’s long-range effort struck the outside of the post. With almost the last play of the game Brayson saw his chip palmed over the bar by Dean at full stretch. Ultimately, it wasn’t to be for Benfield, but the entertainment on display almost made up for the defeat. Almost…

Match Report Ian Cusack

Photos Simon Mears

Website Steve Boyle

Newcastle Benfield v Billingham Town Northern League Division 1 Match Report

NEWCASTLE BENFIELD 1 BILLINGHAM TOWN 1

 

The game began in brilliant sunshine and ended in rancorous discord, as the visitors quite lost the run of themselves after the award of a late penalty to The Lions. While it is a number of years since Billingham Town have been at Sam Smith’s Park, they have something of a reputation of reacting negatively to spot kicks; the eruption of anger when Andrew Grainger saved one in the last minute in 2007 that effectively denied them the title and the same fella scoring from the penalty mark in a 5-0 home win the previous time the teams met in 2014. This is a real shame as Billingham Town, including the often-controversial figure of Jamie Poole, are a solid looking mid-table outfit whose spirit, if they can keep a lid on their tantrums, will see them comfortably mid-table. However, they could, and should, have lost this game they came so close to winning

The first chance of the game went to Billingham, when Craig Hutchinson burst unmarked into the area. Andrew Grainger was quick off his line to shepherd Hutchinson to such a tight angle he failed to even hit the side netting. Soon play switched to the other end; Guilherme Balthazar put in an intelligent low ball that Cyril Giraud turned on and fired just over. Paul Brayson sent Peter Glen-Ravenhill free in the box, but Bradley Young made an instinctive block to deny him. When Giraud curled a long-range effort a shade wide, it looked like a home goal was inevitable, but Benfield’s rhythm was disrupted by injuries to Brad Varga and Balthazar, both of whom being withdrawn for Kurtis Russell and Dennis Knight respectively. Billingham right back Luke Hogan worked himself an opportunity but was denied by a great stop by Grainger as the sides headed in goalless at the interval.

 

The second period was more even from the start than the opening act. Billingham tried to come forward but were almost undone when Brayson’s low cross was steered into the side netting by Knight. On 53 minutes, Kalum Hannah opened the scoring. After Grainger’s clearance was recycled by Billingham, Hannah took the ball with his back to goal, turned and fired into the roof of the net in one movement. It was a good finish, but a soft goal to concede. It stunned the home side, who were unable to fashion a clear scoring opportunity for the next 20 minutes or so. Billingham were content to soak up pressure when Benfield did stir themselves, prompted by the unexpected withdrawal of Giraud for player / manager Stu Elliott, who made his presence known from the moment he stepped on the pitch.

 

Benfield had a Knight goal disallowed for the softest of contacts on an opposition defender, while Brayson crashed a brilliant header against the crossbar with the keeper well beaten, before the late penalty that so incensed Billingham was awarded for a foul on Knight. After an unnecessary bout of pushing and much invective in Teesside accents, Knight levelled matters, just too late for the home side to get the winner their efforts merited.

 Match report Ian Cusack

Website Steve Boyle

Man of the Match: 

Mark Turnbull

FACUP Newcastle Benfield v Workington Match Report

For the second Saturday in a row, Newcastle Benfield faced opposition from Cumbrian, but instead of Penrith’s Bonny Blues, it was Workington’s Reds that the Lions lined up against. This was the second year in a row the two teams had been paired together in the FA Cup at Sam Smith’s Park, with visitors naming a certain Sam Smith as one of their substitutes. Since the two teams last met,

Workington have suffered relegation from the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League to the North West Division, where they stand at the summit of the table and which is still one step above where Benfield ply their trade.

However, in the first half especially, there was no discernible difference in the standards of play of the two sides and the final result cannot be described as a cup shock by anyone who saw the game. Make no mistake; Benfield were thoroughly deserved winners on the day.

 

The first chance of note saw Peter Glen-Ravenhill race on to a superb through ball by Cyril Giraud, but agonisingly for the energetic frontman, his shot rolled inches wide of James Atkinson’s goal with the Reds keeper beaten.  Soon after, Matty Parker fired a loose ball at the back of the area into the side netting. Aiden Haley, who was once again imperious in the centre of midfield, thumped a loose ball against the base of the post from 25 yards with Atkinson a helpless onlooker.

He was far more involved on 28 minutes, when he was forced to palm away a Giraud thunderbolt, in order to claim it at the second attempt. On 37 minutes Atkinson tipped a Glen-Ravenhill effort round the post and Guilherme Balthazar’s effort from the resulting corner was blocked by a posse of concerned defenders.

 

Clearly Benfield ought to have been ahead at the break, but Workington rode their luck and came out fighting in the second half. The first few minutes saw a flurry of corners for the visitors and one almighty scramble in the box that saw Ritchie Slaughter and Mark Turnbull lead by example in repelling all the Reds threw at the Lions. In the baking heat, the game became rather becalmed, with only a flicked header by Turnbull from a Parker cross threatening the visitors’ goal.

However, the arrival of Dennis Knight for a weary Giraud saw the game turn decisively in Benfield’s favour. Firstly, he fed Glen-Ravenhill on the edge of the box, who saw his stinging low drive pushed round the post by Atkinson. In the aftermath of this period of sustained pressure, Paul Brayson collected the ball a dozen yards out, threw a dummy and fired at goal.

A Workington defender blocked the ball with his hands and a penalty was the inevitable result. Despite scoring from 12 yards against Seaham on the Wednesday previous, Brayson gave the ball to Knight, whose assured finish was matched only by the coolness of his celebration, which involved taking a long, slow drink from Atkinson’s water bottle as the helpless keeper stared defeat in the face. Soon the final whistle sounded to confirm Benfield’s progress to the next round.

Man of the Match: 

Ritchie Slaughter

 

 Match report Ian Cusack

Action photos CJC photos

Match Coverage Joe Petras

Website Steve Boyle

Newcastle Benfield v Seaham Red Star Northern League Division 1 – Match Report

After a trio of away day victories, confidence, though not complacency, was running high in the Newcastle Benfield camp ahead of the visit of Seaham Red Star. The visitors, including former Benfield players David Henderson, David Robinson and the legendary goal machine Michael Chilton, seemed fired up for this encounter and for the first 25 minutes, the Star utilised the strong breeze at their backs, not to mention a distinct height advantage, to push Benfield back into their own box.

As early as the seventh minute, the Lions were lucky not to fall behind as a wind assisted cross was helped on by Chilton, only for Mark Turnbull to scoop it away with Andy Grainger beaten. The visitors did score on 15 minutes, when former Lion Robinson astutely took the ball down on his chest and flicked it adroitly over the advancing Grainger.

It was no less than they deserved and for the next 20 minutes, Benfield struggle to impose themselves on the game. The tempo changed just after the half hour when Peter Glen-Ravenhill and Paul Brayson were both unlucky to see efforts fly just over and a fraction wide, but the crucial equaliser did come when Matty Parker’s sumptuous cross from the left was insouciantly glanced home by Captain Turnbull, send the sides in level at the break.

I would have thought many if not most in the decent crowd of 160 would have taken a draw at the interval, but none of us could have predicted the utter change in fortunes that were in store. Clearly, the turning point was the dismissal of Seaham keeper Chris Bannon after 54 minutes. A Seaham attack broke down and Paul Brayson executed a glorious dummy in his own half, wrong footing the entire Seaham defence, before sending Glen-Ravenhill away with a through ball. Bannon advanced from his area and attempted to clear, but the ball struck the Benfield attacker who bore down on goal, only to be pushed over when about to tap into an empty net. The penalty award was a certainty and I felt the sending off was too. Paul Brayson has shown little sentiment in his 25 year football career and he sent the replacement keeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

This lead provided a crucial advantage for Benfield and on the hour the game was effectively won when

Cyril Giraud, showing classic Gallic flair, bent a powerful shot into the top corner. Sadly, Seaham then began to lose their discipline, though the fine football of the home team allowed them to skip past many of the lunges and swipes essayed by an angry away side. On 73 minutes, it was 4-1, when Aiden Haley’s delightful low cross was turned in at the back post by Glen-Ravenhill. Things then became immeasurably worse for Seaham when

Dennis Knight entered the fray. Another Red Star attack was closed down and Benfield broke, with Brayson crossing for the onrushing Knight to blast the ball home. The last goal was all his own work; on the left side of the area, he shrugged off a challenge and rifled the ball home for a final score of 6-1, after as emphatic and dominant a second half I can ever remember us producing.

Match report Ian Cusack

Website Photos Steve Boyle

Next Game at Home

Saturday 24th August 2019

Match Report – Penrith v Newcastle Benfield – Northern League Division 1

Heavy traffic on the M6 Southbound following an incident involving an overturned caravan resulted in a late arrival at Penrith’s Frenchfield Park for the visitors. Thankfully the 3.15 kick off did not seem to have put Benfield out of their stride, as within 90 seconds Paul Brayson had almost opened the scoring, swivelling on the ball, sidestepping a defender and hammering an instinctive shot inches over the ball. Last season Penrith’s talisman and so often the Lions’ nemesis, Martyn Coleman opened the scoring after 8 seconds, but subsequently failed to get another kick as Mark Turnbull’s titanic performance at the heart of defence was crucial in setting a platform for a superb 4-1 comeback win. Today Benfield were without Sparky and so Ritchie Slaughter came in as both centre back and team captain; not only that, but he turned in a performance almost as good as Turnbull’s masterclass last time around.

 

The home side’s sole tactic in the first period, with a blustery wind at their backs, was to launch the ball upfield as quickly as possible in the general direction of Coleman. Unfortunately for them, assured defensive work by Slaughter alongside Brad Varga and James Novak denied the Penrith target man any significant opportunities in the opening 30 minutes, other than a half chance that was bravely shuffled round the post by Andy Grainger. Come the half hour, Penrith’s more direct approach was beginning to put Benfield off their passing game as Coleman bustled his way into the box and shaved the outside of the post. Soon after, the game changed decisively when, almost out of nowhere and possibly against the run of play, Benfield hit the home side with a rapid brace of goals.

Firstly, on 37 minutes, Peter Glen-Ravenhill’s deep cross from the right eluded everyone apart from the on-rushing Matty Parker, who touched the ball into the roof of the net from beyond the back post.

On 42 minutes, Aiden Haley notched his goal for Benfield; unmarked and unchallenged 25 yards from goal, he took aim and fired a rocket into the roof of the net that left home keeper Lewis Casson grasping air.

 

Early in the second period, it was almost 3 when Cyril Giraud’s weaving run caused panic in the home defence, but when the ball ran loose to Parker, his low effort was clutched by Casson. For large parts of the second period, Benfield kept hold of the ball, exchanging short passes and looking for opportunities a dogged home defence denied them. At the other end, Coleman continued his one-man assault, twice being denied by Andy Grainger in quick succession. The Benfield task was made more difficult when James Novak limped out of action, to be replaced by the free running Kurtis Russell who sent one thunderbolt a shade too high but was not able to contribute defensively. Thankfully, the rest of the Lions stepped up to the mark, especially Guilherme Balthazar, who denied Bobby Atkinson with an acrobatic clearance off the line. The away performance was more functional than fluent, but it was enough to claim the win, despite a last-minute aberration by Andy Grainger. Substitute Max Brown took the ball off the experienced stopper’s toe as he dawdled on the edge of the box, then slammed it into an empty net. Thankfully, all it cost was a clean sheet as the final whistle sounded soon after.

 

Man of the Match: 

Guilherme Balthazar

 Match Report Ian Cusack

Footage/website Steve Boyle

West Auckland Town 2 Newcastle Benfield 3 Ebac Northern League Division 1

Buoyed up by Saturday’s excellent victory at Knaresborough Town in the FA Cup, Newcastle Benfield claimed their first Northern League win of the season with a mainly superb performance away to West Auckland Town. Somewhat perversely, though perhaps predictable enough in the eyes of seasoned Benfield watchers, The Lions weakest part of the game was in the final 15 minutes when, with a handy 3-1 lead to fall back on and the home side reduced to 10 after the dismissal of substitute David Dowson for foul and abusive language, all of the previous good work was almost undone by a combination of panic, fatigue and poor decision making. Thankfully, West only managed a consolation when Amar Purewal bundled home his second after an extended bout of pinball in the six yard box after a left-wing corner.

 

Benfield’s plans were thrown into disarray in the warm up when Jake Turnbull pulled up with a leg injury and had to be replaced by Guilherme Balthazar. It did not put the Lions off their game as Cyril Giraud, who was to play a dominant role throughout the contest, set Paul Brayson free in the third minute, only for keeper Tom Flynn to make a smart block. Flynn was helpless after 7 minutes when the visitors went ahead; Balthazar’s astute Crossfield pass fell perfectly for Matty Parker, allowing the young striker to curl a delicious low, curling shot into the bottom corner. A superb, eye-catching goal and a worthy reward for Benfield’s positive start. The tempo was not sustained and Benfield were content to hold West at arm’s length for most of the half, with the other major talking point being right at the end of the half, which saw Peter Glen-Ravenhill racing through on goal with defenders trailing in his wake, only for the all-action forward to lose all composure and blaze the ball miles over the bar.

 

The second period saw 30 minutes of total dominance by Benfield, with Giraud at the heart of everything that was good about the visitors’ play. Having already broken through the West defence, only to see his pass to Glen-Ravenhill desperately hacked away, Cyril made a more tangible impression by accepting a pass after some excellent work on the right by Glen-Ravenhill, then slotting the ball home via a slight deflection that baffled Flynn. In the seconds after, Glen-Ravenhill sidefooted an effort wide and Brayson stung Flynn’s palms following Giraud passes, before substitute Purewal, looking suspiciously offside, ran onto a loose ball and toe-punted it past the advancing Grainger. There was no need to panic; Giraud skated through the West rearguard and effortlessly curled one into the top corner to restore a two-goal lead.

The result seemed beyond question when Dowson saw red moments later. However, there was the late West rally to endure; Purewal was first denied by a brilliant Grainger save from a downward header, then dispossessed by Novak when ready to pull the trigger, before his second goal. Thankfully, for Benfield fans, time was soon up and a good night on the road had been properly rewarded.

Match Report Ian Cusack

Website/Footage Steve Boyle

 

L’Homme du Jeu: 

Cyril Giraud

 

 

Match report FACup

On a day of incessant downpours, Newcastle Benfield enjoyed the warmest of welcomes at Knaresborough Town’s delightful Manse Lane ground and produced their most scintillating performance in some while, cruising to a 3-0 win that could, and perhaps should, have matched the incredible 1-10 scoreline between nearby Harrogate Railway and fellow Northern League D1 outfit, Whickham. Following Wednesday’s harsh 3-2 home loss to Consett, manager Stu Elliott rang the changes with 5 players coming into the starting eleven for this game. Bearing in mind how events panned out, it was an astute move with Paul Brayson and Ritchie Slaughter delivering the goals, Cyril Giraud absolutely bamboozling the Knaresborough defence all afternoon and Aiden Haley turning in a dominant performance in the centre of midfield that made him Man of the Match.

 

Roared on by a travelling support that comprised almost half of the 165 present for this game, Benfield began the game right on the front foot. After 5 minutes, the tireless Peter Glen-Ravenhill ran onto a through ball from Matty Parker, but a semi-slip on the sodden turf checked his momentum and by the time he had righted himself, home keeper Sam Lee had spread himself to save with his feet. Soon after, the eternally youthful Brayson tested Lee from a tight angle and the keeper did well to push it behind for the first of 4 successive corners, ended by a Ritchie Slaughter header over the top.

 

Knaresborough threatened for the first time on 18 minutes, when Andy Grainger comfortably dealt with a low shot by Andy Cooper.  Back roared Benfield, with Glen-Ravenhill racing through a static defence and clipping the ball just wide of the post with Lee beaten. A minute later the same player really ought to have scored, scuffing a delicious low cross from Jake Turnbull that had been elegantly dummied by Brayson, into the keeper’s grateful arms. Benfield were almost made to pay when Brad Walker’s shot was palmed away by Grainger, only for it to fall for the opposition number 9 Luke Harrop, who slammed the ball against the inside of the post from 10 yards with the goal gaping. 

 

On 28 minutes Brayson stooped to head an Aiden Haley cross just wide, which signalled a period of scrappy, ineffective play from both sides. Then, on 40 minutes, the breakthrough came; Giraud fed Glen-Ravenhill, who squared for an on-rushing Brayson to bury the chance with aplomb to give the visitors a lead they never looked like relinquishing.

 

The second period was played in driving rain so intense that it was impossible to take notes. For the first 15 minutes, Knaresbrough lifted their game and pushed the Lions back, but faultless handling by Grainger and typically steadfast work by Mark Turnbull and Brad Varga kept the Yorkshire hosts at bay. Soon tiredness became a factor and the Knaresborough defence struggled to contain a vibrant Benfield side. The game was effectively decided on 74 minutes when Brayson effortlessly curled a delicious bending shot into the far corner. The scoring was completed on 87 minutes when substitute Dennis Knight showed brilliant ball-juggling skills by the touchline, before sending an inviting cross over for Ritchie Slaughter to gleefully rifle home, equalling his goal tally for last season in the process. Soon, the whistle blew and the drenched Benfield heroes were loudly and enthusiastically cheered to the dressing room by raucous, delighted followers of Newcastle’s best non-league side.

 

Man of the Match: 

Aiden Haley

 Match Report Ian Cusack

Photos Paul Mcfeeley