Newton Aycliffe 3-2 Lions: Match Report

Newcastle Benfield’s trip to Newton Aycliffe saw the Lions register their first defeat in the league, after suffering a tough 3-2 loss to the hosts.

The hosts got off to a quick start with an early chance in the 4th minute in the 18 yard box, that forced a good save from Benfield keeper.

The Lions reacted positively in quick fashion, with a fantastic through ball finding Cyril Giraud deep in the Aycliffe half, but his shot narrowly missed the far post.

It was only moments later that Cyril Giraud was involved in the Aycliffe 18 yard box again, when a neat 1-2 between him and Jake Turnbull gave Cyril the opportunity to score again, this time forcing a Benfield corner.

The Frenchman was involved again in the first quarter of the first half, this time with Reece Noble slipping a through ball to Giraud, who just pulled it wide of the mark.

As the first quarter of the match came to a close, we saw the first goal of the game, with a blistering free kick from just past the half way line meeting the boot of Aycliffe marksman Jake Petitjean at the back post, beating Andy Grainger from very close range, against the run of play.

For the following ten minutes, Aycliffe used their momentum to gain more chances in the Benfield half, with a number of corners and long range efforts, including an effort coming from a Benfield defensive mistake leaving a free shot in the 18 yard box for Aycliffe, which smacked the near post and trickled out.

The last fifteen minutes of the first half was all Benfield’s. A quick break down the right hand side was whipped into the Aycliffe 18-yard box, and as defender Lucas Pilling attempted to clear the effort, he sliced his clearance past keeper Pickford, into the back of his own net. The score was now level.

Benfield weren’t done with the first half however. As the half time whistle approached, a stray back pass from an Aycliffe defender was intercepted sharply by Paul Brayson, who fired an effort at Pickford that was initially parried, but the rebound fell to the boot of the Frenchman Cyril Giraud, who smashed home from just outside the 18 yard box.

The half time whistle blew, with the Lions looking in a very comfortable position to continue their winning run in the EBAC Northern League.

Aycliffe came out in the second half seeking revenge, with an early chance for the hosts being adjudged offside. Just two minutes later, Ethan Wood smashed a thunderstrike from outside the 18 yard box towards the far post, bringing the hosts level.

The following minutes saw a very evenly fought contest, with half chances for both sides failing to hit the mark. A close chance came for Liam Jarvie, whose weaving run and eventual shot in the area comfortably found the gloves of Benfield keeper Grainger.

Benfield replied with a similar effort from Matty Parker, who had a good run and eventually

released his shot, just pulling it wide of the post.

Moments later, James Novak replaced Laquan Esdaille, with Aycliffe also replacing Arran Wearmouth with Ben Reay.

The period between 75 minutes and 85 minutes was characterized by a handful of chances for both sides, with Adam Burnicle having a number of shots at Grainger, and Alex Nisbet firing an effort from a Reece Noble free kick for the Lions.

The 87th minute was the minute that provided heartache for the visitors, as Jarvie broke into the Benfield area, and after being tackled, the ball fell to the back post for the on-rushing substitute Ben Reay, who fired home, putting the hosts ahead in the dying embers of the game.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Lions, but there were plenty of positives to take from a fixture where the squad was depleted through injury. The Lions take on Consett away from home in the EBAC Northern League on the 19th September.


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