NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 1 CUP
NEWCASTLE BENFIELD v SEAHAM RED STAR.
After a successful weekend win against Crook Town, it was back to the Division 1 League Cup of which Seaham Red Star were the visitors to Sam Smith’s Park.
The first scoring opportunity came in the sixth minute, a good run down the right wing by Brad Varga won Benfield a corner this was cleared out to again find Varga who then played a fine pass to team mate Paul Brayson but he missed the target from a decent goalscoring opportunity.
The twelfth minute provided the first scoring chance for the visitors after a fine long ball from Max Nelson found Adam Lennox but he disappointed with a weak shot on the Benfield goal easily saved by goalkeeper Andrew Grainger.
Quarter of an hour had passed by when Benfield came close to opening the scoring after a free kick out on the right wing was flighted in by Cameron Gascoigne to find striker Paul Brayson who saw his strong volley go just wide of the Seaham goal.
Eighteen minutes had elapsed when another great move involving Ritchie Slaughter who intercepted a Seaham pass to find Dennis Knight, he then found team mate Paul Bryson who from a tight angle hit a good shot just wide of the far post. Then Benfield came close again two minutes later when a low drive yet again from Dennis Knight found the safe hands of Seaham goalkeeper Jack Patton diverting the ball for a corner.
Josh Robson the recently signed defender was next to bring the best out Seaham goalkeeper Jack Patton who confidently saved a 30-yard effort from the Benfield defender.
The first half was closing in and in the first minute of added on time Joe Kerridge for Seaham can count himself unlucky to not test Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger, when just as he was about to strike the ball it bobbled up causing a mis-kick giving the Benfield keeper an easy save leaving the score at 0-0 which was the score at halftime.
The second half was only four minutes old when Seaham were awarded a penalty when the referee Mark Ryan judged that Benfield captain Mark Turnbull had cut across a Seaham attacker. Up stepped Seaham Red Star’s Adam Lennox who sent Benfield’s keeper Andrew Grainger the wrong way to make the score 1-0 to the visitors.
Seaham came close to getting a second goal in the fifty-third minute when a free kick was headed by Darryl Donnelly to find team mate Adam Lennox who headed over the Benfield crossbar.
It was the home team’s opportunity to get an equaliser a minute later when a terrific cross to the far post by Joe Robson found Paul Brayson who hit a first time shot inches wide of the far post of the Seaham goal.
The sixty-sixth minute had passed in the second half when Benfield were awarded a free kick 50-yards from the Seaham goal, Benfield’s Cameron Gascoigne took the set piece which found team mate Dennis Knight who saw his shot clear the visitor’s cross bar.
Benfield had plenty of opportunities to get a goal and it came a minute later in the sixty-seventh minute, a good combination move involving Brayson and McGorrigan saw Paul Brayson hit a shot deflected for a corner.
The ball was then cleared for another corner which was driven into the near post with Joe Robson flicking the ball on to find team mate Ryan McGorrigan who put the ball into the Seaham net from five yards out for the equalising goal making it 1-1.
The game was flowing well with both teams looking for a winner in order to not have a penalty shootout after ninety minutes and Seaham came close to a second goal from a corner frantically cleared away from the Benfield goal.
The third deciding goal of the game eventually came in the eighty-first minute and it went the way of Newcastle Benfield, from a free kick awarded to them, the ball was half cleared to just outside the Seaham penalty area to find Joe Robson who hit a brilliant strike with the outside of his foot, to see the ball fly into the Seaham net making the score 2-1 to Newcastle Benfield.
With time gradually running out not a lot in an attacking sense was coming from Seaham and in fact they could have gone even further behind. Five minutes of the game remained when a three man move started by goal scorer Joe Robson who hit a forty-yard pass which was controlled by Archie Leonard, he then crossed the ball into the near post to find the head of Paul Brayson with the Seaham keeper Jack Patton confidently claiming possession of the ball.
Two minutes later and it was almost another goal for Benfield when Benfield’s Cameron Gascoigne took possession of the ball to advance forward and lob the ball over the head of the Red Star keeper for what could have been the third goal for the home team.
To the home supporters dismay Seaham Red Star defender Jordan Patterson arrived back to make a brilliant goal line clearance keeping the score at 2-1 to Newcastle Benfield which was the final score at fulltime with the Lions progressing to the next round, which is destined to be another home fixture this time against Newton Aycliffe on the 6 April.
Man of the Match … Cameron Gascoigne.
Reporter:- Allan Young.