This was the start of the long and winding road to the Northumberland Senior Cup Final and a possible game at St. James Park. Bedlington were the hosts and although they were in a division below. Newcastle Benfield were doing well and scoring a lot of goals so a tough game was envisaged.
It didn’t take long for the first goal and it went to the visitors Newcastle Benfield in the eighth minute, a long pass from Brad Varga found team mate Eddie Thomas who took one touch to control the ball before driving the ball past the Bedlington goalkeeper Adam Cameron, to make the score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
Two minutes later and it took a fine tackle from Benfield’s Brad Varga to stop Bedlington’s top goal scorer Matty Hayton. Within a minute Benfield had a shooting chance when Nick Green took control of the ball with a good shooting chance, but the chance went astray.
Bedlington were not just sitting back defending and in fact had it not been for the Benfield goalkeeper Alfie Gordon in the fourteenth minute producing a fine save from a strong shot by Bedlington’s Matty Hayton, it would have been level.
The first caution of the game went to Ex Benfield player Gilberto Chapmin for a poor tackle on Dennis Knight.
Then Bedlington came close to an equalising goal in the twenty-second minute, when Christian Sands played a great ball to teammate Joe Richardson with his well hit drive bringing a great save out of the Benfield netminder Alfie Gordon. Although nothing exciting occurred for the next fifteen minutes until Bedlington got a free kick, which was cleared away after another fine save by the Benfield keeper Alfie Gordon blocking the ball, the ball then went loose to Bedlington’s Dario Dos Sandes, who saw his shot on goal cleared off the line for a corner by Benfield’s Brad Varga.
Bedlington were now starting to get back into the game and the Benfield goalkeeper was again called into action in the thirty-ninth minute when he came out and collected a corner from a Bedlington effort, and it was only a minute later when it was Brad Varga again defending well, denying Joe Ames the opportunity to get to the ball, with it rolling out for a goal kick to Benfield.
The forty-second minute saw a long goal kick find its way to Dennis Knight but from 20-yards out however he put his effort wide of the Bedlington goal.
With halftime approaching, another long ball found Knight who played a fine square ball into the feet of Layton Watts, but his poor effort went high over the Bedlington crossbar and soon the whistle went for halftime, leaving the score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
The first ten minutes of the second half produced nothing from either side and in fact it was the fifty-eighth minute before we saw any attacking action when a long pass found Eddie Thomas but he hit the ball over the Bedlington cross bar.
A couple of minutes later a foul on Benfield’s Dennis Knight saw a free kick by Eddie Thomas hit another effort over the Bedlington cross bar.
The clock had moved to the seventy-eighth minute of the game, when a mistake by Benfield goalkeeper Alfie Gordon nearly gave an equalising goal to the Terriers, when a long ball down the wing cleared from a Benfield corner found Bedlington’s Matty Hayton who saw his shot cleared off the line by Ben Pentland for a corner.
From the corner Benfield broke away and should have put the game to bed, when a fine pass from Dennis Knight put the normally reliable goal scorer substitute Ben Dibb-Fuller through on goal, but his effort brought a good save from the Bedlington keeper Adam Cameron, which was cleared away.
With ten minutes of the game left, Bedlington almost got their equalising goal, a good turn allowed Matty Hayton the space to get a shot off, but he was again denied an equaliser by the Benfield keeper Alfie Gordon. The importance of that save contributed to Benfield getting a second goal in the eighty-second minute, a cross with a rarely used right foot by Dennis Knight found Eddie Thomas sliding in at the far post for Benfield’s second goal, putting the game out of reach for the home team.
This made the score 2-0 to Newcastle Benfield which was the final score at full time.
Man of the Match … Alfie Gordon.
Reporter: – Allan Young.