EBAC NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 1
NEWCASTLE BENFIELD v THORNABY 26/3/22
Thornaby were the visitors to Sam Smith’s Park In what would be on paper a very tough game with Thornaby being one of the form teams and in a position to gain promotion. The first scoring opportunity came as early as the second minute and it went to Newcastle Benfield when a long 30-yard pass from Ryan McGorrigan found Paul Brayson but although the Benfield striker beat the defender his shot was poor going wide of the mark.
Benfield were on top in an attacking sense and three minutes later a long cross field pass found team mate Archie Leonard who saw his shot blocked by Thornaby captain Reece Kenney. Benfield had started brightly and had another effort on the Thornaby goal from Dennis Knight in the seventh minute blocked after receiving a pass from Aiden Haley.
The home team were pressing again and in the eleventh minute from a corner Aiden Haley and Archie Leonard both had efforts on goal which were blocked with the ball falling to Dennis Knight who saw Thornaby keeper Quinaceo Hunt bring off a good save.
The Thornaby keeper was called into action again in the fourteenth minute, a dangerous cross to the far post from Ryan McGorrigan found Aiden Haley who moved the ball to Archie Leonard with his shot blocked and the rebound falling to the feet of Dennis Knight who hit a strong shot on the Thornaby goal only to see the Thornaby keeper Quinaceo Hunt make another great save to deny Benfield in what was a good game.
It was not all Newcastle Benfield however and in the twenty-second minute counter attack from Thornaby striker Craig Hutchinson saw him come close to opening the scoring.
Then the twenty-third minute brought another goal scoring opportunity to Thornaby when a poor clearance from Benfield goalkeeper Andrew Grainger was pounced on by Joseph Scaife-Wheatley 30-yards out but fortunately for the Benfield keeper he recovered enough to make a save.
Twenty-seven minutes had gone by when Newcastle Benfield were reduced to ten men when Dennis Knight was a judged by the referee Craig Chatten to have elbowed a Thornaby player in the face with a red card being the outcome.
This didn’t seem to deter Benfield that much and good wing play in the thirty-second minute by Peter Glen- Ravenhill saw his strong shot blocked for a corner by Scaife-Wheatley.
Four minutes later saw a strong run by ex-Benfield player Cyril Giroud with his pass finding team mate Craig Hutchinson who then saw his effort easily saved by the Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger.
The first half was nearing the end when in the forty-first minute a free kick to Thornaby taken by Reece Kenney found team mate Craig Hutchinson who saw a strong effort deflected for a corner.
From the resulting corner it was Hutchinson again who saw his shot deflected for another corner and, It was third time unlucky again as it was from the next corner that Hutchinson saw his third attempt on goal go over the Benfield cross bar.
Forty-five minutes had gone by and in the first minute of added on time Benfield’s Archie Leonard received a fine pass from team mate Ryan McGorrigan with Thornaby keeper Quinaceo Hunt doing well to save the ball out for a corner which was defended for another corner which came to nothing apart from the half time whistle with no score.
It was a similar start in the second half as to the first half, in the second minute a dangerous cross into the Thornaby penalty area was cleared to the edge of the box finding Benfield captain Mark Turnbull who had his effort blocked with the rebound finding team mate Archie Leonard who then had his fine strike deflected for a corner.
Without looking again like scoring the home team were in charge as Thornaby were not creating any real scoring opportunities but the home team came close again when a brilliant cross field pass from Lewis Leech just evaded Benfield captain Mark Turnbull who seemed to be spending as much time up front as he was in his sweeper position.
An hour had passed without a goal to either team but this was put to bed in the sixty-second minute, an Aiden Haley thru ball found Archie Leonard who advanced into the Thornaby to be fouled and a penalty to Benfield being awarded.
Considering Leonard was thru in on goal and fouled from behind it was strange that no card was produced by the referee Craig Chatton.
Up stepped Peter Glen-Ravenhill to confidently hit a strong effort into the Thornaby net with the keeper Quinaceo Hunt going the wrong way making the score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
Thornaby came very close to getting an equalising goal in the sixty-seventh minute when a free kick taken out on the Benfield right was met by the head of James Frazer but unfortunately for him and Thornaby his good effort hit the Benfield cross bar and away to safety.
Even with Thornaby having a one-man advantage Benfield were holding their own and looking reasonably comfortable and nearly had a second goal.
In the ninetieth minute substitute Jamie Clarke produced the pass of the match to find team mate Archie Leonard who saw the Thornaby goalkeeper Quinaceo Hunt bring off a brilliant save and with that the final whistle went leaving the score at 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
Man of the Match … Archie Leonard.
Reporter:- Allan Young.