It was the first step on the road to Wembley for the LIONS, in what would be a tough game against Newton Aycliffe who are sitting in third position in the Northern league. Apart from a win for the team it was going to be sense of pride for Benfield manager Colin Stromsoy, who had previously managed the visitors.
Newton Aycliffe started off the brightest dominating possession but not having any real shots of significance at the Benfield goal, that changed in the seventh minute when only good defending by Benfield’s Nick Green denied Ben Reay a free shot at the Benfield goal. The opening goal of the game came in the eleventh minute, a good run down the right wing by Cameron Gascoigne won Benfield a corner, a quick short corner was taken by Ben Dibb-Fuller to team mate Archie Leonard who then returned the ball to Dibbs, the Benfield midfielder then crossed the ball to Dennis Knight, who volleyed the ball home to make the score 1-0 to Benfield.
Play then settled down for the next fifteen minutes when Aycliffe came close to an equaliser, after poor play by Benfield’s Nick Green gave Aycliffe a free kick out on the right wing. It was not all the home team in an attacking sense, with good play by the visitors in the twenty-sixth minute saw them win a corner, which came to nothing.
The second goal of the game arrived in the twenty-ninth minute, and again it went to the home team, a quick free kick down the line taken by the alert Layton Watts found team mate Dennis Knight, who advanced to hit an unstoppable drive past the Aycliffe goal keeper Adam McHugh, for his and Benfield’s second goal making it 2-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
To their credit Aycliffe didn’t allow their heads to drop and in fact in the thirty-fourth minute had it not been a brilliant save from Benfield goalkeeper Andrew Grainger to deny Liam Jarvie, things might have changed. With half time approaching Aycliffe got a corner which again was collected by Grainger confidently from the head of Aycliffe’s Ben Reay, this left the score 2-0 to Newcastle Benfield which was the halftime score.
The second half was low key for the first ten minutes with neither side having any scoring chances, but Benfield came close to a third goal when they won a free kick taken by Gerard Richardson, who saw his cross meet the head of Dennis Knight, with his effort crashing off the post and away to safety denying him his hat trick.
Nothing had been really seen of the visitors in an attacking sense apart from Grainger’s great save in the first half, but the home team were out for more goals and Gerard Richardson went close to getting Benfield a third goal in the sixty-second minute with his glancing header going inches wide of the goal.
Benfield didn’t have to wait long for their third goal which came in the sixty-fifth minute and it was a present from the Newton Aycliffe’s defender Arron Brown, who without looking tried to find team mate Anthony Callaghan, only for the ball to be intercepted by Ben Dibb-Fuller, who confidently advanced forward to strike the ball past the helpless goalkeeper Adam McHugh, to make the score 3-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
Newcastle Benfield were now in control and were not doing any crazy things in an attacking sense and were quite content to absorb any of the little attacking threat from Newton Aycliffe. It was in fact Benfield who came closest to getting the next goal with ten minutes to go, a long free kick taken by Layton Watts was controlled by Nick Green, before putting Archie Leonard clean through, but he fluffed his line by putting the ball wide of the goal when he should have scored or at least made the goalkeeper save his effort.
You could see that the visitors had basically given up hope and were now not much of an attacking threat to Benfield, in fact in the eighty-fourth minute Benfield came close again when Layton Watts crossed the ball to find the head of Gerard Richardson, who saw the Aycliffe keeper just manage to tip the ball past the far post for a corner, which came to nothing.
Aycliffe had been guilty of delaying restarts in much of the game and they were to rue this as Newcastle Benfield got a fourth goal in the ninety-fourth minute; a three man move saw Dibb-Fuller play a pass to Ben Pentland, who advanced forward before passing to Layton Watts who had the simple task of rolling the ball into the Newton Aycliffe net, making the score 4-0 to Newcastle Benfield.
Man of the Match … Layton Watts.
Reporter: – Allan Young.
The match continued for the last twenty minutes in a poor manner from both teams, poor passing, shooting, giving the ball away and a game of poor quality ended with Penrith winning 1-0.
The man of the match went to BEN PENTLAND.