Heaton Stannington were the visitors to Benfield for the first match for the Jimmy Rowe memorial cup, it was the home teams third match of the pre-season. The first match was a 1-0 victory against Alnwick town with the second match against Whitley Bay also ending with a 3-1 victory.
The game was pretty even for the first ten minutes with both teams testing each other out but it was Benfield who should have opened the scoring in the tenth minute, a terrific cross by Dennis Knight found the head of club captain Mark Turnbull but the shock of being so high up from his sweeper position saw him head the ball over the cross bar.
Two minutes later and it was the turn of the visitors to miss an opportunity to open the scoring, when a cross into the Benfield penalty area found the head of Dean Imray who also should have done better but he too headed wide of the Benfield goal.
Benfield nearly opened the scoring in the sixteenth minute when an outrageous shot by Dennis Knight from a seemingly impossible angle just cleared the Visitors crossbar by inches.
Play was then confined to the midfield of both teams but a free kick taken by Ritchie Slaughter saw Mark Turnbull head just wide of the Stan goal. Neither team then looked likely to open the scoring and this was confirmed in the thirty-fifth minute when a pass from Benfield’s Mark Turnbull again found team mate Dennis Knight but his wild shot flew high over the crossbar.
With time closing in for the end of the first half it was Heaton Stannington who came close to getting the first goal when Leighton Hopper went on a strong run going past two Benfield defenders before shooting just wide of the far post therefore leaving the score at 0-0 which was the score at halftime.
The second half started similar to the first half with both teams testing each other out again as they had both made changes at halftime. Although a goal looked unlikely it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 55th minute, Benfield had two easy opportunities to clear the ball away from danger but failed to do so with Leighton Hopper pouncing on the chance to scramble the ball into the net making the score 1-0 to Heaton Stannington.
Six minutes later and it was the visitors who should have doubled their score when goal scorer Hopper went on a good run only to shoot wide after gaining a good shooting opportunity.
The game for the last 30 minutes then continued with neither team looking as if they would get a goal and when the final whistle went it was a victory for the visitors Heaton Stannington 1-0.