EBAC NORTHERN LEAGUE
NEWTON AYCLIFFE v NEWCASTLE BENFIELD
Something had to give when both teams came into the match with a 100% of wins from their opening matches, the pitch looked in perfect condition so a close and intriguing match was anticipated. Both teams looked lively in the opening five minutes and Benfield came close when a free kick driven into the Aycliffe penalty area saw their goalkeeper Adam Pickford slip as he went to collect the ball but fortunately for the home team the ball was cleared away to safety.
Although play was pretty even it was the home team who looked the most dangerous and so it proved in the twenty-fifth minute when Newton Aycliffe player Liam Jarvie opened the scoring, after receiving the ball he advanced forward and with the Benfield defence backing off he produced a great strike that flew into the top corner of the Benfield net giving goal keeper Andrew Grainger no chance of saving making it 1-0 to Aycliffe.
Both teams then settled down but were giving the ball away with no threat to either side but with forty-two minutes gone that changed when Aycliffe got a deserved second goal. It came when a ball down the Benfield left flank found Aycliffe striker Sonni Coleman, who then produced a low dangerous cross into the penalty area. Under pressure unfortunately for Benfield club captain Mark Turnbull the ball was deflected into the Benfield goal making the score 2-0 to Newton Aycliffe.
Not to be to downhearted Benfield came forward with Ritchie Slaughter on the end of a good attacking move only to be denied shooting at goal with a good strong tackle for a corner by Aycliffe defender Aaron Brown which was cleared leaving the score 2-0 to Newton Aycliffe at halftime.
Three minutes of the second half had elapsed when again Slaughter was in the thick of the action and it took an excellent tackle and clearance by Aycliffe club captain Joe Ferguson. Play was pretty even with Newton Aycliffe looking comfortable with their lead but things nearly changed in the sixty-sixth minute, Ex Newton Aycliffe player Dennis Knight crashed a free kick from 20 yards against the cross bar and saw it cleared away to safety.
It then took a good save from Benfield keeper Grainger minutes later to deny Sonni Coleman from increasing the lead and then nothing changed with both teams passing the ball about but with no real threat on either goal.
Eighty-two minutes had passed by when again it looked as if anyone might score, for Benfield it would be Dennis Knight, and so it proved firstly a well worked freekick saw Knight in possession 30 yards out with his effort just clearing the Aycliffe cross bar.
Not to be denied in the eighty-third minute a pass down the right wing found Kane Evans who advanced forward before driving the ball into the near post to find Dennis Knight who side footed the ball into the net leaving the score 2-1 to Aycliffe.
Just when the last seven minutes would look as it could be an exciting period of time for Benfield, within a minute of scoring and looking to get back into the game Aycliffe put an end to any of the visitors’ thoughts. A breakaway down the right flank saw the ball delivered into the Benfield penalty area where scorer of the Aycliffe first goal Liam Jarvie arrived to put the ball into the Benfield net making the score 3-1 to Newton Aycliffe. Although the best move of the second half by Benfield saw a well stuck shot it was Newton Aycliffe who deservedly won 3-1 when the final whistle went.
Man of the match … Dennis Knight.
Reporter: Allan Young.