ASHINGTON F.C. v NEWCASTLE BENFIELD
FA CUP EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND
The road to Wembley commenced for Newcastle Benfield when they were visitors to Ashington F.C. in the first qualifying round of the F.A. Cup.
Within the first five minutes Ashington came close to opening the scoring when a 30 yard free kick taken by Max Coburn just cleared the Benfield cross bar.
It was the home team again two minutes later who came close when a fine cross from Ashington captain Dean Briggs was controlled by Ryan McGorrigan who just managed to get his shot away but a slight deflection just managed to deflect the ball wide of the Benfield goal.
It didn’t take long however for the home team to open the scoring in the eleventh minute, a pass down the left found Luke Salmon who saw his centre only half cleared after a fine save from Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger, Ashington’s Max Cowburn then pounced side footing the ball into an empty net making it 1-0.
Ashington were looking dangerous with their quick attacks and were first to the ball in most of the challenges, they were very unlucky not to add a second goal in the twentieth minute when Ryan McGorrigan hit a bullet shot at goal but with the Benfield keeper well beaten it crashed off the post and away to safety.
The twenty-second minute arrived with Benfield getting an equalising goal and what a strike Ritchie Slaughter gained possession advanced forward and slaughtered the ball into the top corner from 30 yards making the score 1-1.
The twenty-fifth minute arrived when a cross from the right wing found Benfield’s Jake Turnbull who saw his strong effort well saved by Ashington’s keeper Adam McHugh for a corner. Back came the home team and a dangerous cross from the left wing saw Reece Noble take no chances heading the ball out for a corner.
In the thirty-sixth minute it looked like Benfield could have had a penalty, goalkeeper Adam McHugh advanced to collect a free kick and collided with Benfield defender Lewis Scorgie it looked like a penalty could have been given but referee David Pill decided not to give it, which really annoyed Scorgie with the referee having to talk to him to calm down his anxiety.
Apart from the goals there was nothing really much to write about as it was even steven but that changed in the forty-first minute when a cross into the Benfield penalty area met the toe of Thomas Bramley who was still in the area and he just managed to get a toe end to the ball with it finishing it in the net making it 2-1 to the home team at halftime.
The first fifteen minutes of the second half saw both teams huffing and puffing with no defined solution to get another goal. Cameron Gascoigne came close in the sixty-third when a strong effort from 20 yards just went wide of the Ashington upright. Gascoigne again two minutes later should have levelled the scoring, a long pass out of defence was collected by Benfield’s Paul Brayson who went forward before rolling the ball to his fellow striker but the end product was disappointing as he blazed a good chance over the Ashington crossbar. Five minutes later in the sixty-eighth Ashington got a corner but a disappointing cross saw the ball easily cleared to safety.
The seventieth minute brought another chance for Benfield, it came when a centre from the right wing gave Aiden Healey a chance to score, although he hit it quite well his shot should have beaten Ashington keeper McHugh who produced a fine save.
Two good scoring chances had come the way of Benfield who had upped the pace and started to look like they were the most likely to get the next goal, and they should have done in the seventy-third when a centre from Ritchie Slaughter found the head of Lewis Scorgie who should have at least hit the target but he headed over the Ashington cross bar.
Yet another chance came the way of the visitors who had upped the pace and in the seventy-fifth minute, substitute Dennis Knight from a low cross by Paul Brayson should have scored from 12 yards out but put it wide. Benfield were not to downhearted and kept on advancing forward. Knight continued to be a pest to Ashington and he had a strong effort punched away by keeper McHugh with the ball falling to Abu Salim who saw his shot well saved by McHugh.
Benfield thought they had got a third goal in the seventy-seventh, a great cross from Knight found Benfield’s Paul Brayson who crashed a volley into the Ashington net only for the referee to blow for offside.
The seventy-eighth minute of the match Ashington were reduced to ten men when Luke Salmon was sent off for elbowing a Benfield player, from the freekick Jake Turnbull saw his shot saved after advancing in from the left wing.
Time looked like it was running out for the visitors but that changed in the eighty-first minute, Paul Brayson gained possession and advanced to the by line before pulling the ball back into the advancing Connor Walker who calmy slotted the ball past Ashington keeper Adam McHugh making the score 2-2.
Within four minutes and Benfield got a third goal, Paul Brayson crossed from the right wing and he found the head of Abubaker Salim who saw his header fly into the Ashington net via the post making it 3-2 to Benfield.
With only five minutes left the crowd must have thought there could be no more goals but Ashington came close when a corner from Luke Salmon was met by Karl Ross who saw his effort just clear the Benfield post. Benfield then in the eighty-ninth got a fourth goal, it came when Dennis Knight hit an audacious shot which appeared to hit the ground and bounce over the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper making it 4-2 to Newcastle Benfield.
It looked all over for the home team but they got a lifeline in the first minute of added on time when a cross from the right wing was pounced on by Ashington central defender Tom Bramley who side footed the ball home making it 4-3 to Benfield.
Then only a minute later and Ashington went close to equalising but Ryan McGorrigan saw his effort just go wide leaving the score 4-3 to Benfield which was the final score.
Man of Match … RITCHIE SLAUGHTER.
Reporter Allan Young.