Frickley Athletic FC 3 Newcastle Benfield 1
Newcastle Benfield’s FA Cup journey came to an end for another year after suffering a 3-1 defeat against Frickley Athletic.
Despite falling to their first defeat of the season the Lions were more than competitive throughout and on another day could have seen themselves through.
Benfield mounted some pressure in the early exchanges after forcing a corner, but it was Frickley who drew first blood.
It took just six minutes for that to happen as Nyle Blake converted at the near post to make it 1-0.
Stuart Elliott’s side responded well, with Cyril Giraud taking on the home defence before having his effort tipped over the crossbar by the goalkeeper.
That was followed up just a minute later when Dan O’Reilly forced a corner for the visitors.
Frickley showed good movement in attacking areas throughout and that was something that caused problems for Benfield’s defence throughout.
But what it was clear to see that the Lions’ attack was very much up for this one and looked to have drawn the game level midway through the first period.
An excellent ball from midfield found Paul Brayson who confidently found the back of the net, only for the referee to rule it out for offside.
Efforts from Matty Parker and Alex Nisbet followed as Elliott’s side looked to force their way back into the game.
Mark Turnbull was named as captain for this one and he certainly justified that decision throughout as he looked to drive the team forward.
As well as being on the end of a nasty challenge in the first period, Turnbull did well to link up with nippy striker Giraud who carved out an opportunity which went just over the bar.
Benfield got their reward for a half in which they put Frickley under real pressure just before the break when Reece Noble crossed the ball for Brayson who slotted home to make it 1-1.
Elliott would have been thrilled with the fightback, but a lapse in concentration saw the hosts restore their lead as the attacker broke the offside trap to make it 2-1 at the break.
The second half was much more frustrating affair for Benfield as the hosts set up to frustrate the visitors.
O’Reilly had a decent chance to equalise after 55 minutes when he latched onto Brayson’s cross, however his effort narrowly missed the target.
Frickley did a very good just of holding off the threat of the Lions for much of the second period, however things did come to life with 10 minutes to go.
Following on from a Benfield free-kick that came to nothing, the Lions had a big penalty appeal waved away as Brayson was seemingly brought down in the box.
That decision seemed to take the wind out of the visitors’ sails as it started to dawn on the club that it might not be their day.
Joe Robson looked to force the issue with a long-range effort that went over the bar, before an opportunity for Parker presented itself after a decent cross into the box. Unfortunately he was unable to hit the target.
However the final blow came in the last minute of injury time when Frickley’s Jack Wightwick got on the end of a long throw to make it 3-1 to the hosts at the final whistle.
It might not have been a game that went Benfield’s way, but Stuart Elliott will no doubt be pleased with the application showed by his team throughout – something that can only bode well for the season ahead.
MOTM: Mark Turnbull
Reporter: Phil Spencer