Although they are situated only about a mile apart, this was the 1st time the Stan and Benfield had played each other since 2002. Unfortunately, it was without the Stan Army as again the Stan’s 2nd pre-season friendly was played behind closed doors. The score made it look like the Stan were well beaten but the result was down to an unfortunate 10-minute spell in the 1st half when Benfield scored 3 goals.
Until the 1st goal after 27 minutes, neither team had looked threatening. The Stan had a free kick cleared after 4 minutes and, after 2 attacks were cleared, Benfield shot wide form a long-range effort after 8 minutes. The next 10 minutes saw 2 attacks from both sides easily cleared. After 21 minutes, the trialist replaced the injured Canham. The Stan were increasing the pressure although nothing was given when Campbell was fouled after 24 minutes. Regan then caught a Benfield free kick followed by the Stan shooting wide. Against the recent run of play, Benfield scored in 27 minutes when the ball was sent into a crowded Stan box and O’Reilly blasted it high through the crowd and into the net. The Stan attacked but in 30 minutes the ball was sent down the left and crossed into O’Reilly again who slotted past Regan for 2-0. In 32 minutes, it looked like Benfield had scored again but the ball hit the side netting. In 35 minutes, a great ball into the box by Simpson was caught by the home keeper. 2 minutes later a Benfield attack was blocked but Grayson managed to pass in the box to Giroud who made it 3-0 after Regan had parried and when the defence should have blocked. Campbell soon after shot well wide and a Benfield attack was cleared. A Stan attack was then easily cleared before Robinson cleared a home attack before another Benfield effort was also cleared. The trialist then supplied Campbell who looked like he was going to score but his effort was deflected for a corner which was also cleared before the trialist’s long shot went wide.
The 2nd half started with Bailey and new signing Bashsm, who made a very positive debut, replacing Waters and Robinson. The Stan started the half positively, with Mason working hard, although a joined-up attack in the 47 minute came to nothing. In 52 minutes Callum Wells, who was playing as a trialist but has now signed, replaced the injured Balackbourne at centre half. The Stan then attacked followed by a quiet spell when both sides only attacked once. The Stan’s best chance so far came in 59 minutes when the trialist passed into the box and Basham’s flick was put only just saved by the keeper. From the resulting corner, Basham’s shot was caught by the keeper. The Stan put more pressure on but in 62 minutes Regan had to get down to stop a Benfield shot. The Stan then had 2 attacks with the 2nd seeing the trialist passing to Campbell but although blocked Bailey got the ball but shot wide. In 66 minutes, a Miller free kick was sent into a crowded box to Bailey but the keeper caught from his header. The home side attacked before a Stan attack was blocked and a 2nd attack was wasted. Benfield then attacked twice. In 74 minutes, good work by Campbell but his eventual effort was easily caught by the keeper. Benfield countered, won a free kick but then shot over the bar after an initial clearance. Benfield attacked again and after a 4 minute quiet period a Basham shot, which was going slightly wide, just failed to be intercepted by Campbell in the 6 yard box. Wells then cleared a Benfield attack before a Simpson ball into the Benfield box was easily caught. In 81 minutes, Benfield attacked down the right and a short pass to O’Reilly saw him clinically shoot passed the Stan defence to his hat-trick & Benfield’s 4th. Benfiled then had a similar effort on the left but Regan bloicked. In 85 minutes, Robinson came back on for Campbell. Regan made a good block with his feet 2 minutes later when it should have been Benfiled’s 5th goal. The match ended with some Stan pressure, but it was too late.