F.A. CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND BENFIELD v DUNSTON U.T.S.
A tough game was expected against a team that played a level above Benfield and in the first minute they nearly opened the scoring, a corner taken by Jake Stafford caused confusion in the Benfield penalty area but the referee Jonathon Scofield saw a foul on Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger awarding a free kick and relieving the early pressure.
Eleven minutes had gone by with both teams testing each other out and it was the home team who came close to scoring the first goal, Ritchie Slaughter played a ball down the line which was controlled by recently returned from injury Cyril Giraud, he in turn put in a cross to the near post to find Paul Brayson who saw his effort just go wide of the post. Slaughter and Brayson combined again in the eighteenth minute when a long cross was just to high for the Benfield striker.
A minute later and it could have been the opening goal of the game, a swift move by Benfield down the right wing saw Peter Glen-Ravenhill play in Paul Brayson who squared the ball to Aiden Healey who put the ball wide of the target when the least he should have done was hit the target.
Play was even for the next ten minutes but that changed in the twenty-ninth minute when the opening goal of the game arrived and it went to the visitors, a well weighted thru ball down the centre of the Benfield defence saw Lee Mason advance forward in a one on one with Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger and he confidently moved forward to roll the ball past the Benfield keeper making the score 1-0 to Dunston.
Halftime was approaching with the visitors looking confident hanging on to their 1-0 lead but they nearly conceded an equaliser in the forty-third minute when Ravenhill combined with Brayson who drove in a low cross which just had to much power on it and it evaded a desperate lunge by Connor Walker. This left the score at 1-0 to Dunston U.T.S. which was the score when the whistle went for half time.
It was the visitors who came out for the second half coming close to getting goals, a move down the Benfield left in the fifty-third minute saw a dangerous cross into the near post find Jake Stafford who unluckily for him saw his header go inches wide of the Benfield goal.
It was Stafford again a couple of minutes later who came even closer to getting a second goal for Dunston when he crashed a 20-yard drive against the Benfield cross bar with the Benfield keeper having no chance of saving if the ball if it had been that six inches lower.
Dunston were now starting to getting the better of the home team and eventually got a second goal in the seventy-second minute, confusion in the Benfield penalty area saw the ball which should have been cleared by Lewis Scorgie fall to the scorer of the first goal Lee Mason who gleefully accepted the confusion in the Benfield penalty area hit a low drive into the Benfield net making it 2-0 to Dunston.
Benfield did come close five minutes later when a square pass found substitute Archie Leonard who saw his strong drive just go wide of the Dunston goal. The visitors were looking comfortable now with their two-goal lead with no real threat on their goal and in fact came close to a third goal in the seventy-ninth minute when a low drive from Mason was well saved by Grainger in the Benfield goal.
Just when it looked like Dunston would have to play out the remaining six minutes with ease things it suddenly changed when Benfield pulled a goal back, a free kick from the Benfield left fell at the feet of Paul Brayson who stroked a right foot shot into the net making the score 2-1 to Dunston.
A little bit of panic obviously occurred in the Dunston penalty area in the dying minutes but it took a fine strong challenge in the ninty-third minute to deny them getting a third goal after a run down the wing by Luke Porrit saw his cross find Jake Stafford who saw a desperate challenge block the ball out for a Dunston corner which came to nothing leaving the score at 2-1 to DUNSTON when the final whistle went.
Man of the Match … Ritchie Slaughter
Reporter: Allan Young.