SEAHAM RED STAR v NEWCASTLE BENFIELD
EBAC NORTHERN LEAGUE 1st Division
This was the first of two trips down the A19 to play teams from Wearside with Sunderland R.C.A the next fixture. Seaham were swiftly out the block and came close to opening the scoring in the second minute, when a good effort from Danny Sayer shaved the Benfield post and was pushed away to safety.
It was the home team who again were unfortunate after a quick move down the Benfield right saw the ball played into the near post to find Thomas Bott, who guided the ball into the net, to his dismay on turning to celebrate he looked over to his to see the linesman flagging for offside and disallowing the goal much to the dismay of the home team supporters.
The first major incident of the first half came in the thirteenth minute when Benfield were reduced to 10 men, Sam Walton was adjudged to have committed a serious foul on Seaham’s Danny Sayer with the referee Sam Ross instantly showing the Benfield player a red card and sending him off.
The home team came close again in the fifteenth minute when a free kick taken by Thomas Lawson came to getting the first goal. Then it was the eighteenth minute when Benfield had the opportunity to get the first goal of the game, but were denied by a diving save from Seaham goalkeeper Andrew Jennison, who saved from a Paul Brayson volley.
Not to be denied however Seaham did open the scoring in the twenty-second minute Thomas Lawson gained possession before cutting in and driving a low left foot drive into the far corner of the net making the score 1-0 to Seaham Red Star.
There was more controversy in the twenty-eighth minute when Benfield won a corner but something must have been said to one of the officials as the referee came over and dismissed Benfield’s manager Stuart Elliott.
Despite being down to 10 men it was Benfield who were starting to dominate the play and in a four minute period took control. In the thirty-fourth minute a cross field pass from Jake Thompson found Ritchie Slaughter who saw his strong effort go inches wide of the post, and in the thirty-sixth minute it was Slaughter who again came close to getting an equaliser. It was the same combination of Thompson and Slaughter that ended with the latter crashing a shot of the Seaham woodwork and away to safety.
With Benfield still down to ten men, they were not out of the game and were containing the home team but Seaham looked dangerous on the break. The visitors had to vary their attacking methods in order to subdue and cope with the swift moving Seaham forwards but in one of their attacks Benfield got an equalising goal. This came in the thirty-eighth minute when a long ball out of defence down the right wing found Peter Glen-Ravenhill, after controlling the ball he produced a brilliant pinpoint cross to the far post which was met by Paul Brayson who confidently hit his volley into the net making the score 1-1 which it remained at halftime.
As in the first half it was the home team who came out the quickest, and in an attacking mode, within three minutes of the second half they should have taken the lead again. A great cross from full back Joe Hailes found fellow full back Danny Sayer who had a free head at goal but he panicked and headed wide of the Benfield goal when he should have scored.
Not to be out done it was the turn of the visitors who came close to scoring after a quick move down the Seaham right saw Cameron Gascoigne have his shot well saved for a corner by Seaham keeper Andrew Jennison. Benfield were coping quite well but in the fifty-eighth minute conceded a second goal, brilliant play by Seaham’s Mark Robinson who dribbled the ball past three Benfield players before seeing his shot saved by Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger for a corner.
Seaham managed to score their second goal after taking a short corner which they crossed to the far post, it looked like a bread & butter take for Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger but to the dismay of the Benfield supporters he missed the ball, leaving Lee Kerr the simple task of putting it into the net making the score 2-1 to Seaham.
The home team were looking good and confidently moving the ball around and keeping possession, but they were indebted to keeper Andrew Jennison for denying Benfield an equaliser with a fine save, when after a corner which was only half cleared allowing Cameron Gascoigne a free shot on goal.
Seventy-one minutes had passed when a fine move forward ended with a fine pass to Seaham’s Thomas Lawson who saw his well struck volley saved by Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger.
Then with seventy-nine minutes reached, when from a Benfield corner Seaham nearly scored again, after gaining possession they broke away leaving Adam Lennox in a 1 on 1 situation with Andrew Grainger, but he fluffed his lines by shooting wide of the goal when he should have easily scored.
Shortly after the home team again came close when an attack featuring Thomas Bott saw his effort go wide of the goal. Later a long pass from Lee Kerr found Mark Robinson who saw his effort blocked out to team mate Adam Lennox with his shot being saved by the Benfield keeper.
Benfield were still competing well but were undone again in the eighty-sixth minute, after a low drive from Mark Robinson went wide, he made amends by hitting a low left foot shot into the bottom corner to make the score 3-1 in favour of Seaham Red Star. Despite battling well, Newcastle Benfield were beaten by a better team on the night.
Man of the Match … Lewis Scorgie.
Reporter: Allan Young.