Updated: Sep 13
Newcastle Benfield made it two wins from two in the Northern Football League with a 1-0 victory over Bishop Auckland at Sam Smith’s Park.
A 71st minute cross come goal from Jake Turnbull separated the teams on the night, following a game that presented crucial chances for both sides.
Bishop Auckland needed to pick up their first points of the campaign, and Benfield looked to consolidate upon a fantastic away win in their opening game.
The first five minutes was a period of few chances, but the first main chance came from the home side, with Cyril Giraud putting a dangerous cross into the Bishop Auckland penalty area that was cleared away.
Benfield then enjoyed the greater share of useful chances in the next fifteen minutes, with a dangerous free-kick coming to nothing, and crosses into the box from Mark Turnbull and Kane Evans creating chances for Paul Brayson and Alex Nisbet respectively, which didn’t find the net either.
Benfield continued their aggressive attacking throughout the remainder of the first half, with Cyril Giraud and Paul Brayson linking up repeatedly in the 29th minute, eventually forcing a good save from the Bishop Auckland shot stopper.
The visitors’ first real chance in the Benfield penalty area eventually came in the 30th minute, after a Bishop Auckland corner swung into the Benfield penalty area, and in a last gasp effort was cleared off the line.
An early blow for the Lions came in the 32nd minute, with Lewis Scorgie taking a knock, and having to be replaced by Dan O’Reilly.
The remainder of the first half looked like it was not going to see much action, but the final two minutes of the first period saw a big chance for both teams missed. The first came from Bishop Auckland, with the visitors putting in a dangerous cross that summoned Andy Grainger to make a crucial save, and a Benfield corner presenting a headed opportunity for Alex Nisbet, who just missed the target.
A half-time replacement kicked off the start of the second half, in the form of Matty Parker replacing Kane Evans. The start of the second half was much like the first, with very little happening for the first few minutes.
52 minutes saw the first big opportunity for the home side in the second half, with Reece Noble slipping the ball through to Paul Brayson, forcing a crucial early save from Bishop Auckland’s keeper Liversedge. Benfield continued in a similar fashion, with Matty Parker, Dan O’Reilly and Alex Nisbet all creating crucial chances for the Lions, that failed to hit the mark.
From 60 minutes, Bishop Auckland started to create chances in the Benfield penalty area, however none were converted. Benfield then managed to swing the momentum in their favour once again, with a free kick heading towards the back post that found the head of Alex Nisbet, but was scrambled away before it could find the back of the net.
The moment that ensured that the three points remained in NE6 came in the 71st minute. A cross from the left-hand side by Jake Turnbull passed straight through the Bishop Auckland defence and keeper, finding the back of the net. 1-0 to the Lions.
Following this, as expected, Bishop Auckland responded quickly, with a quickly taken corner that was smothered by Andy Grainger. The Lions sought to counter this and continued to attack the Bishop Auckland goal, however the game eventually drew to a close, securing three vital points in the league for the home team, and temporarily putting them top of the league.
The Lions play Frickley in the FA Cup on Saturday, and will face Newton Aycliffe away in the league on the 15th September.
MOTM: Joe Robson
Reporter: Ben Harris