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Hebburn Town v Lions: Match Report

Newcastle Benfield fell to a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Division One leaders Hebburn Town on a rainy Saturday afternoon.


The result sees the Lions’ four-match winning run come to an end, while also missing the opportunity to go top of the table.


It was Benfield who got off to the brightest start with Paul Brayson sending an early effort wide of the mark in the opening minutes.


After scoring five goals against Guisborough Town last weekend it was clear that the veteran was very much in the mood to try and pick up where he left off.


Instead it was the visitors’ newest arrival, Abu Salim, who opened the scoring after just eight minutes.


A wonderful ball saw the winger face a one-on-one with goalkeeper Mark Foden where he confidently slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net.


Salim caused plenty of problems in the opening stages and could have had a penalty after seemingly being brought down in the area, only for the referee to wave the appeals away.


Hebburn found their feet midway through the first half with Martin McKeown and Lee Mason both causing problems for the visitors.


But the equaliser came after 27 minutes when a wonderful ball down the right from the Hornets’ skipper Louis Storey found Tom Potter who slotted past Alfie Gordon in the Benfield net.


The visitors didn’t take long to respond though, as a sublime ball from Cyril Giraud found Peter Glen-Ravenhill who restored the Lions’ lead, before Hebburn battled back once again.


But just three minutes after Benfield’s second the hosts were awarded a penalty which was converted by Cedwyn Scott who made it 2-2 at the end of a pulsating first half.


The second period got off to an equally fast-paced start with both sides creating opportunities to take the lead.


Hebburn went in front for the first time in the contest as Dan Groves scored a fine solo effort early in the second half.


The Hornets’ star picked up the ball just inside the Benfield half as he dribbled around the defenders before slotting slow past Gordon.


Michael Richardson was then introduced for the hosts and nearly made an immediate impact after firing an effort just wide of the mark.


Hebburn sensed blood and could have extended their lead as Purewal’s close-range effort was scrambled wide for a corner.


But it was only a matter of time until they made it four as Scott converted his second penalty of the game.


Things went from bad to worse for Benfield when Joe Robson was sent off for a second bookable offence - all-but ending their hopes of getting back into the contest.


Stuart Elliott’s side tried to find a way back and did go close as Brayson skimmed the crossbar with a free-kick from the edge of the area.


But the hosts capped off a fine second half as Potter grabbed his second in stoppage time to make it five for the league leaders.


The Lions will be disappointed to have ended their four-match winning run but will be encouraged by their first half performance.

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