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Lions v West Auckland: Match Report

Newcastle Benfield fell to a 3-2 defeat against West Auckland at the Sam Smith’s Stadium on Wednesday evening.


That result sees the Lions make it three defeats in a row in all competitions and drop to sixth position in Northern League Division One.


Things got off to an ideal start when a defensive lapse from the visitors was pounced on by Abu Salim who slotted home from close range.


Benfield certainly dominated the opening period with Cyril Giraud picking up the ball on the edge of the box before being dispossessed.


West Auckland soaked up the pressure well and started to make their mark on the game as they pushed forward for an equaliser.


The Lions’ defence has been a little bit leaky of late having conceded 10 in their previous two games, and Auckland knew that there was an opportunity to turn the game on its head.


A series of efforts at goal as well as several set pieces went the way of the visitors before they were awarded a penalty.


Auckland looked certain to draw the game level however a wonderful stop from Nikilous Kontouras on his first start for the club retained Benfield’s lead.


Peter Glenn-Ravehill and Paul Brayson did combine late in the half to ease the pressure on the home side, but they couldn’t take advantage.


While Benfield held the lead at the break they knew that the visitors were knocking on the door.


But the Lions looked to ease those concerns early in the second period when Brayson slammed home a penalty after some good work from Giraud.


Salim and Brayson both had opportunities to put the game beyond doubt, but a mix-up at the back allowed West Auckland a route back into the game.


Confusion in Benfield’s defence allowed the visitors to equalise through Kyle Fryatt, before a long, floated cross into the area was met at the back post by Jordan Blinko who made it two in two minutes for Auckland.


Benfield were rattled and were looking to hold on as Auckland surged forward with a number of good chances.


Brad Varga pulled off an excellent challenge to deny the visitors a certain winner, but unfortunately the decisive goal was inevitable.


After 86 minutes the lethal blow was struck as Evan Horwood converted from the edge of the area.


That wrapped up the points for West Auckland and gave Newcastle Benfield plenty to think about as they prepare for four weeks without a fixture.

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