The road to Wembley started with Crook Town the visitors to Sam Smith’s Park, with Shildon being the opposition in the next round for the winners. The first shot of the game was by Benfield midfielder Ryan McGorrigan, who saw his effort well blocked by Crook Town defender Leo Kirkbride for a corner.
The wind was with Benfield in the first half and they made the most of it, opening the scoring in the sixth minute. A cross field pass by Ryan McGorrigan found Cameron Gascoigne, with McGorrigan continuing his forward run to receive the ball back and advance forward, to shoot past Crook goalkeeper Rowan Makepeace for the first goal making the score 1-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
The home team came close to getting a second goal in the thirteenth minute after a goalmouth scramble ended when Crook’s goalkeeper Rowan Makepeace pounced on the ball making a good save. Benfield came close again in the seventeenth minute after a great forward pass by Lewis Leech found Layton Watts, who only managed to half control the ball allowing the Crook goalkeeper Rowan Makepeace to dive onto the ball.
Twenty minutes had elapsed when a cross by Crooks Leo Kirkbride into the near post, caused some concern with Benfield defender Lewis Leech, slicing the ball for a corner which came to nothing with a poor cross going to the far post with all the Crook players advancing into the near post.
The referee was then called into action in the twenty-fourth minute producing a yellow card to Crook’s Lucas Bell after a foul on Sam Read. The half hour mark had just passed when a long ball found Benfield’s Eddie Thomas, who saw his shot well blocked to safety by Crook Town player Leo Kirkbride. Crook were then awarded a free kick in the thirty-fourth minute out on the right wing, with a poor effort being claimed by Benfield’s goalkeeper Andrew Grainger. That was then the end of the first half with the home team leading 1-0 and not looking under any pressure from Crook Town.
Within five minutes of the second half passing, a long through ball from Crook saw Benfield goalkeeper Andrew Grainger advance from his goal area to head a through ball with his clearance finding Whickham’s Steven Johnson, who with a free shot at goal put the ball wide of the Benfield goal
After a swift Benfield attack it looked as if the Lions were reluctant to shoot but they won a corner in the fifty-second minute which was sliced clear.
Crook were then indebted to goalkeeper after a two man move saw a cross from Lewis Leech find Layton Watts, who saw Crook Towns goalkeeper Rowan Makepeace bring off a fine save.
Benfield were still holding on to their lead and again came close on the hour mark, with a lovely long pass from Connor Walker found Cameron Gascoigne who saw his strong effort well saved by Crook keeper Rowan Makepeace.
Despite Benfield being in charge, Crook kept coming forward and were unfortunate in the sixty-third minute, when striker Stephen Johnson hit a well struck effort but unlucky for him he saw his shot crash off the Benfield post and away to safety.
Another ten minutes went by with Benfield getting a penalty, it came when Layton Watts was just about to shoot at goal but the ball bobbled with Crook’s captain mistiming his tackle and bringing down Layton Watts for a penalty to Benfield, just as he was about to shoot at goal.
Up stepped Ryan McGorrigan to confidently place the ball past Crook keeper to make the score 2-0 to Newcastle Benfield which was the final score.
Man of the Match … Lewis Leech.