EBAC NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 1
REDCAR ATHLETIC v NEWCASTLE BENFIELD
A second trip down the A19 this time to Redcar was the venue for this league match, after having travelled down in midweek to Thornaby. Due to injuries and unavailability, Benfield made three changes from the Thornaby game and also had manager Stuart Elliott on the bench. Benfield came close to getting the opening goal in the first minute after a swift move down the Benfield left flank saw Connor Walker cross to find full back James Novak, who saw his shot clear the crossbar by inches. Within another two minutes the visitors again came close to opening the scoring, after a four man move involving Noble, Giraud, Walker, and finally Paul Brayson who saw his effort just go wide of the far post.
Benfield had made a lively start and again came close to getting a goal in the tenth minute when a through ball from Giraud found Connor Walker who saw his effort well saved by Redcar keeper James Dawson for a corner. This corner was half cleared to Benfield’s Reece Noble who saw his shot deflected for another corner, which came to nothing.
This all happened within the first ten minutes of the match and it continued as within a minute a Redcar break involving Thomas Eglington saw the Benfield keeper produce a good save from his dangerous cross. It was the home team who were looking the most dangerous and likely to open the scoring but it was in fact the visitors who came close in the fourteenth minute, a long, cross field pass from Glen-Ravenhill to the far post found Cyril Giraud who saw Redcar keeper James Dawson pull off a fine save .
Redcar then had then had a ten-minute spell that they dominated, making the Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger work hard to deny them a goal. In the twenty-first minute Thomas Eglinton had a good chance to score when he gained possession, after poor Benfield defending. Grainger eventually cleared the ball away, then again in the twenty-third minute. With Redcar dominating, it was Grainger again who denied Nicholas Martin from scoring.
Redcar were looking dangerous in possession and came close to getting the first goal of the game, when from a free kick a good strike from Nicholas Martin was well held by the Benfield keeper. Whilst the home team were dominating play, Benfield did have their moments, and on the half hour mark top goal scorer Paul Brayson should have done better when a fine cross from Peter Glen-Ravenhill gave the Benfield striker a free head at the far post, but he put it past the upright when he should have done better from a free head at goal.
Redcar were made to rue the possession they had without converting their chances, as in the thirty-second minute Newcastle Benfield got the opening goal, it came when a cross from the left wing by Sam Walton found Peter Glen-Ravenhill who drove the ball with a slight deflection past the diving Redcar keeper James Dawson to make the scoreline 1-0 to Benfield.
To their credit, the Redcar team didn’t give in and had it not been for another good save by Grainger from a shot by Isaac Walker, they could well have been level. The home team kept on advancing forward and were causing concern to the Benfield defence, and in the thirty-ninth minute a good build up by Redcar saw a good effort from Isaac Walker flash just wide of the Benfield upright.
The Benfield keeper was having a busy day, and with halftime approaching he again made a fine save to deny Nicholas Martin, leaving the score at the interval 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
Despite having goal scoring opportunities, it was in fact the visitors who got the next goal and their second of the match, when a free kick in the fifty-third minute to the far post was headed back across goal by Jake Thompson to find Paul Brayson free inside the six-yard box. Brayson gleefully put the ball into the net making the score 2-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
This seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home team as within another minute they should have found themselves 3-0 down. A mistake in the Redcar defence allowed Benfield player Connor Walker a one-on-one situation with Redcar keeper James Dawson, who did well to advance and block Walker’s effort, keeping the score at 2-0.
This wasn’t to be for long however as within a minute Benfield did get their third goal, a Benfield corner from the right seemed an easy cross for Redcar keeper James Dawson but he under no real pressure dropped the ball at the feet of Benfield’s Sam Walton and he hit the ball into the unguarded goal making it 3-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
Then it should have been four in the sixty-fourth minute when a brilliant cross from Benfield defender James Novak found Peter Glen- Ravenhill, who should have added to Benfield’s lead but saw his weak effort go wide of the Redcar goal.
To their credit the home team didn’t give in and got a goal back in the sixty-eighth minute, a break down the Benfield right wing saw the cross find Steven Jackson who side footed the ball into the net making the score 3-1 to Newcastle Benfield.
Another two minutes had elapsed when the seventieth minute Benfield had a good opportunity to add to their tally, a cross to the far post found full back James Novak surprisingly in a forward position, but he put the ball over the Redcar crossbar.
Two minutes later and the game was put to bed for the Lions when they got their fourth goal of the match to kill the game off, it came when a cross into the Redcar penalty area was controlled by Archie Leonard who then back heeled the ball into the path of Sam Walton, and he made no mistake in getting his second goal and also Benfield’s fourth.
Time was running out for Redcar, who although three down with seconds to go saw an effort from Thomas Bligh blocked for a corner which came to nothing. The final whistle soon went with Newcastle Benfield winning 4-1.
Reporter Allan Young.