EBAC NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 1
NEWCASTLE BENFIELD v WEST AUCKLAND
West Auckland were the visitors to Sam Smith’s Park on a cold evening but both teams were delighted the strong wind had calmed down.
The game got off at a frantic pace with both teams being guilty of giving the ball away but it was the ninth minute of the game when the first goal should have been scored by Newcastle Benfield. A mix up occurred between West Auckland keeper Sam Guthrie and team mate Liam Potter, the ball eventually fell to Benfield’s top striker Paul Brayson and all he had to do was hit the target as the keeper was out of his goal but unusually for Brassy he put the ball over the bar.
Benfield were on top at this stage and two minutes after missing the target Brayson supplied Connor Walker with a fine pass with his hard stuck shot being well saved by Sam Guthrie.
Play then settled down for a short while with neither team really bothering the goal keeper’s but Benfield then had a great opportunity to open the scoring thru team captain Mark Turnbull, a corner was taken on the left wing and was flighted to the far post and from 6 yards out with a free head at goal he headed over the bar when at the least he should have done was hit the target.
With 25 minutes gone the home team came close to getting the opening goal of the game with a superb pass from Ritchie Slaughter finding team mate Connor Walker, after advancing forward he saw his well struck effort well saved by West Auckland keeper Sam Guthrie.
Play then progressed for a further ten minutes without much danger of either team getting the opening goal until a corner for West Auckland in the thirty-fourth minute caused concern in the Benfield penalty area before being cleared to safety.
Time in the first half was running out but in the first minute of added on time it was the home team who came close to the first goal. It came when a free kick to Benfield on the half way line was quickly taken by Ritchie Slaughter with a fine ball down the line finding team mate Paul Brayson who was unlucky to see a first-time volley fly just past the post. This left the score at 0-0 which was also the halftime score.
The first goal scoring opportunity of the second half went the way of the visitors, poor play by the Benfield defence allowed Auckland striker Jordon Blinco in the twelfth minute a chance to open the scoring but he put his poor effort wide of the Benfield goal.
The hour mark brought a great opportunity to Newcastle Benfield and you would have put your mortgage on it being the first goal of the game. A brilliant thru ball from Ritchie Slaughter found striker Paul Brayson who was in on a one-on-one situation with West Auckland keeper Sam Guthrie but it was the West Auckland keeper who came out on top keeping the score 0-0
As time progressed it looked like it was going to be a goalless although in the sixty-seventh minute a break down the right saw Benfield get a corner with the ball being well cleared by the West Auckland only to find Benfield’s Connor Walker who saw his effort go for another corner which was cleared.
The seventy-third minute of the game brought some confusion to both teams with the referee Mark Ryan calling, what looked like a corner to West Auckland saw the Auckland players surrounding the referee squealing for a penalty but he changed his mind giving Benfield a goal kick. West Auckland were awarded a free kick way out on the wing in the seventy-sixth minute but it was completely wasted when substitute Charlie Hindson put it high over the Benfield crossbar.
Time was running out and the match had all the makings of a goal less draw but that all changed in the eighty-first minute with the first goal going the way of West Auckland. A free kick was played into the Benfield penalty area and with the ball not being cleared it fell to the feet of Liam Potter who gleefully side footed the ball from 10 yards into the Benfield net making the score 1-0 to West Auckland.
Not to be too down hearted Benfield kept probing and a promising attack was rewarded with a free kick on the edge of the West Auckland penalty area, but this came to nothing with Brayson’s free kick hitting the wall. From the Benfield freekick it was in fact West Auckland who came close to getting a second goal, a swift break away saw a Kyle Fryatt cross scrambled away for an Auckland corner which came to nothing.
With the clock turning it had reached the eighty-eighth minute when a second goal of the game arrived and it went the way thankfully for the home supporters to Newcastle Benfield. Substitute McKenzie Sharpe found team mate Archie Leonard who controlled the ball and quickly played it to Joe Robson who after a fine first touch hit a low shot past Auckland keeper Sam Guthrie with him having no chance of saving it.
This made the score 1-1 which was the final score.
Man of the Match … Kane Evans.
Reporter:- Allan Young.