Northumberland Senior Cup 13 October 2021.
Newcastle United Under 23’s V Newcastle Benfield.
This was a chance to put one over a professional team and also to alert the spectators to the standard of football that Newcastle Benfield play on a weekly basis.
In the early stages the home team were having the majority of possession but it was not ending with shots on the Benfield goal, and it was Benfield who in fact came closest to getting the opening goal in the seventeenth minute. A free kick was awarded to the visitors way out on the left flank, which saw Jake Turnbull put a glancing header just wide of the Newcastle far post.
Max Thompson, the United goalkeeper was called into action in the nineteenth minute to save a Benfield shot, after a good build up saw Connor Walker hit a strike on target.
The United keeper did even better in the twenty-first minute when good interplay between Benfield’s Paul Brayson and Cameron Gascoigne saw them set up Connor Walker, who again saw his effort well parried by the United keeper and eventually scrambled for a corner.
Despite dominating the game in possession, the home team were not causing any major concern to Andrew Grainger, until the thirty-ninth minute when he was called on to make a good save after a deft flick from 20yards out, by Jack Young.
This left the score at 0-0 which remained the score at halftime.
It only took two minutes of the second half for the first goal of the game and it went to Magpies, good play down their right flank ended with a cross to the near post finding Newcastle United’s Stan Flaherty, who easily stroked it home to make it 1-0 to Newcastle United.
Despite being a goal down so early in the second half it was Newcastle Benfield who came storming back to grab an equalising goal. Keeping good possession of the ball with a three man move involving Cameron Gascoigne and Paul Brayson who then crossed the ball to Connor Walker, who tapped in from five yards making the score 1-1.
Fifty-five minutes had gone by when United should have gone ahead, fullback Josh Scott got on the end of a fine cross from team mate Lucas DeBolle, only to head over the Benfield crossbar.
Play was fairly even for the next fifteen minutes or so but in the sixty-eighth minute Newcastle United were awarded a penalty, it came when Kyle Crossley made an advancing run down the Benfield right wing and shot at goal, with the referee Paul Brown adjudging that the ball had been deliberately handled.
Up stepped Stan Flaherty to get his and his team’s second goal, sending Benfield’s keeper the wrong way making it 2-1 to Newcastle United.
Benfield kept on trying hard and ex Newcastle United player Dennis Knight came close in the seventy-second minute but United keeper Max Thompson was alert to the fact, saving the ball.
The academy team were looking quite confident with Newcastle Benfield running out of ideas and they sealed their victory in the seventy-eighth minute when they pounced on a mistake by a Benfield defender, with Lucas DeBolle squaring the ball to Isaac Westendorf who struck the ball into an unguarded goal making the score 3-1 to Newcastle United.
This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Lions and it was United who looked as if any more goals were to be scored it would be them. You could not fault Benfield for their effort, but in the dying minutes it was goalkeeper Andrew Grainger who did well to make two fine saves from Jack Young in the eighty-fifth & eighty-seventh minutes, denying United another goal leaving the final score 3-1.
Man of the Match … Andrew Grainger.
Reporter: Allan Young.