EBAC NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 1
NEWCASTLE BENFIELD v PENRITH
Our friends from across the hills Penrith were the visitors to Sam Smith’s Park on a gloomy Saturday afternoon.
As soon as the first minute the visitors were unfortunate not to open the scoring when a long throw in was well controlled by Michael Williams, and he was unlucky not to open the scoring firing inches wide of the Benfield goal.
The second scoring opportunity also went to Penrith when a cross from Matthew Coombe reached the head of Michael Williamson, who headed over the Benfield bar.
It was then the turn of the home team to come close, when a fine effort from Sam Walton was well saved by the Penrith keeper Luke Miller. He was in the thick of the action again two minutes later after a long pass from the Benfield captain Mark Turnbull found Brayson who played in Cameron Gascoigne, but his strong effort was well saved by the Penrith keeper for a corner.
It was the home team who then came next to opening the scoring after a through ball from Ritchie Slaughter put Paul Brayson through, who then produced a beautifully weighted chip over the head of the visitor’s goalkeeper, only for it to rebound off the Penrith crossbar and away to safety.
It was soon the chance for Benfield keeper Alfie Gordon to show his goalkeeping ability skills when he produced a fine save to stop Matty Storey from opening the scoring after a Penrith attack down the Benfield right wing.
Twenty-eight minutes had elapsed when Benfield came close, after a long pass from Reece Noble found Sam Walton, who then saw his effort go inches wide of the Penrith goal.
It wasn’t long however before the first goal of the game arrived, and it went to Benfield in the thirty-first minute. A long pass from Ritchie Slaughter played in Sam Walton who then crossed the ball to find the head of Paul Brayson, and as usual the ball ended up in the Penrith goal after a deft flick, making the score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
To their credit, Penrith didn’t look like they were giving up, and in fact put pressure on the home team when they won two corners in succession, with the first producing a good save from the Benfield keeper. From the second they had the best opportunity to get an equaliser when Grant Davidson had a free header, but he was wide of the target.
Penrith didn’t have to wait long however to get an equalising goal, it came after a mix up in the Benfield penalty area involving the Benfield keeper, who played a poor pass to Kane Evans who was immediately put under pressure and dispossessed, with Max Brown rifling a drive into the Benfield net making the score 1-1.
In the forty-third minute Penrith had a glorious chance to go into halftime with a goal lead, they broke free after a Benfield corner giving Max Brown a one on one situation with Benfield’s keeper Alfie Gordon, but to the dismay of the Penrith supporters he put his effort wide of the Benfield far post.
It was the turn of Benfield to come close to getting a second goal in the first minute of added time when Cameron Gascoigne played a pass to Ritchie Slaughter who struck a 20-yard bullet effort only to see Penrith keeper Luke Miller make a great save, leaving the score 1-1 at halftime.
The second half was only twelve minutes old when the third goal of the game arrived, the ball was in the Penrith penalty area and after blocking shots they were fortunate that Benfield then hit the post. They were lucky again shortly after when from the rebound Benfield hit the crossbar. They were then third time unlucky as from the last rebound from the crossbar the ball was scrambled over the line by who else but Paul Brayson, making the score 2-1 to Newcastle Benfield.
The ace goal scorer Paul Brayson should have had his third goal with fifteen minutes gone, after a speedy run down the Benfield right wing by Peter Glen-Ravenhill saw him pull the ball back to Brayson, who hit his shot against the bar.
Benfield were then indebted to goalkeeper Alfie Gordon in the sixty-sixth minute for keeping Benfield ahead, when he made a brilliant save from Penrith substitute Luke Brown.
Penrith looked determined to get an equalising goal and came even closer to getting this, when in the seventy-second minute a long range rocket shot from Stuart Johnson crashed off the Benfield crossbar away to safety.
They then came close soon after when poor Benfield defending allowed Matthew Storey an opportunity to shoot at goal with his effort going inches wide of the Benfield upright and away to safety.
With full time approaching another goal was scored in the ninetieth minute, a break down the Benfield right wing saw Benfield striker Paul Brayson gain possession cutting into the Penrith penalty area, he dummied to shoot at goal but instead he rolled the ball into the path of Sam Walton who had the task of hitting the ball into the net, making the final score 3-1 to Newcastle Benfield.
Man of the Match … Paul Brayson.
Reporter: Allan Young.