Crook Town vs Newcastle Benfield: Match Report



Newcastle Benfield made the journey into County Durham to play Crook Town who are one of the most successful teams in the Northern league, although it was many years ago, that they won the amateur cup on numerous occasions as well as the Northern league.

Although Benfield have played Crook Town already this season another close game was expected as although Benfield won the game at Sam Smiths Park it was a narrow win 3-2 with the winner coming in the eighty-sixth minute.

The first twenty minutes of the game was of really poor quality with both teams testing each other out without having any shots at goal or keeping possession of the ball.

The first real scoring opportunity arrived in the twenty-second minute, Benfield won the ball back with a strong tackle in midfield with the ball falling into the possession of goal scoring machine Paul Brayson but he fluffed his lines on this occasion with a poor effort from 20-yards going high over the Crook Town crossbar.

The game was of a scrappy essence with play pretty even between both teams although Crook had more of the ball, they never troubled Andrew Grainger in the Benfield goal. This encouraged the visitors who were looking more confident on the ball keeping possession in an attacking sense.

Play was still scrappy with neither team really troubling either goalkeeper but things changed in the forty-third minute with the opening goal of the game, man of the match Aiden Haley won the ball in the midfield before playing a pass down the line to Paul Brayson, the Benfield striker then passed the ball to Archie Leonard who after controlling the ball confidently advanced in on goal to drive the ball past crook keeper Ronan Makepeace making the score 1-nil to Newcastle Benfield, and this remained the score at halftime.

The Crook players had obviously had a good talking to by their coach as the started the second half swiftly with a good run down the left flank by Mason Hurworth only to see his strong shot blocked and away to safety.

Fifty-four minutes of the match had passed by when good play down the Benfield left wing from Crook Town’s Alex Nelson saw his strong near post centre defended for a corner to the hosts. Whilst they had the majority of possession of the ball the home team were not looking dangerous or causing any great concern to the Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger, that was until the sixty-sixth minute when a back pass was played to the him with not enough pace on the ball and in trying to get the ball he fouled Crook Town’s Edward Thomas giving away a penalty. The penalty was hit as a strong low drive to the right-hand post only to see the Benfield keeper make a great save to deny the home team an equaliser.

From being a hero two minutes later Grainger nearly became an enemy when he came for a cross but missed it but fortunately club captain Mark Turnbull was on hand to clear it off the line.

It was the captain again three minutes later who could have gone from champion to villain when poor defending allowed Crook Town’s Mason Hurworth a good shooting opportunity but to the relief of the Benfield club captain he hit his shot high over the bar.

Seventy-three minutes had passed when the club captain was in the thick of things again when his long-range free kick just cleared the Crook crossbar. A minute later and it was the turn of Crook to go on the attack when substitute Ewan Forster went on a clever run and produced a dangerous cross into the Benfield penalty area defended for a corner in which the Benfield keeper claimed a catch to halt the Crook town attack. Two minutes later and Crook had another free kick after a foul on Crook’s Mason Hurworth by Ethan Renney which came to nothing.

Crook were starting to get on top possession wise but having no end product for shots on target making it an easy day for Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger. It was indeed the visitors who had the next attempt on goal in the seventy-ninth minute when Dennis Knight saw his well hit shot blocked with the rebound just evading him.

A despite Crook Town being a goal down they kept on going in search of an equaliser but in their quest, they nearly conceded a second goal in the eighty-ninth minute when Aiden Haley was put thru but ended up mis controlling the ball therefore missing a great opportunity to put the match out of the reach of the Crook players. Also to their credit this did not deter the Crook players in their search for an equaliser and with one minute left of normal time in a scramble in the Benfield penalty area Edward Thomas had an equalising opportunity but to the dismay of the Crook town supporters he put the ball over the crossbar and there ended the game with Newcastle Benfield winning 1-0.


1 Grainger, 2 Renney, 3 Gascoigne, 4 Josh Robson, 5 Turnbull, 6 Haley, 7 Joe Robson, 8 Slaughter, 9 Brayson, 10 Knight, 11 Leonard. Substitutes:- 12 McGorrigan, 13 Gordon, 14 Sharpe, 15 Glen-Ravenhill, 16 Clark.

Man of the Match … Aiden Haley.

Reporter :- Allan Young.

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