Newcastle Benfield vs Heaton Stannington

The final Coast Road Clasico of the season at Sam Smiths stadium, saw the Stan win the 3 points. Although there was only 1 goal in it, which came after 4 minutes, the Stan got a deserved victory in the end and revenge for the undeserved Senior Cup defeat earlier in the season. There was 1 change from Saturday’s win over Redcar Athletic with Stephenson replacing Slaughter.

The 1st clear attack of the match was for the Stan in 4 minutes when Reid passed to Doyle, on the right side, who passed across to Lashley who blasted the ball into the net from the edge of the box. Before Benfield could get over the shock of going 1-0 down, Hornsby raced towards their box but put the ball well wide. The Stan had a joined-up attack 2 minutes later which was eventually blocked. Benfield got a corner in 9 minutes, but Brass got down to catch. Both teams were trying to attack but both defences were managing to deal with any threats. The Stan had to head clear in 14 minutes followed by Burn sending a ball into the home box which was cleared. In 20 minutes, a Stan counter attack saw Reid supply Anderson who was blocked for a throw in. From it, the ball was sent into the box to Reid but he was blocked &the ball was eventually cleared. Benfield broke in 24 minutes but shot high & wide. A minute later & Hornsby supplied Doyle who sent the ball into the box resulting in Reid heading towards goal, but the home keeper managed to make a greats save to prevent another goal. This was the 2nd best chance of the match after the goal. Kane, Scott & Hornsby had to clear Benfield attacks but there were no real attacks again in the 1st half except in the last few minutes. A Stan attack was cleared & Benfield countered with Brass having to catch in a busy box. The half finished with a through ball to the advancing Lashley but the home keeper came out of his box to just get there 1st.

Hopper replaced Anderson at half time & the Stan immediately attacked through him. A Benfield attack was then headed clear. A minute later, & a home free kick just outside the box was missed by everyone & went wide. The ball was sent back into the Stan box & was deflected just wide for a corner from which the ball was headed clear. Both teams were trying to attack although not much was happening. In 56 minutes, Doyle supplied Hopper who advanced into the box & passed to Burn but his close range shot was blocked. Soon after, Benfield shot over. Brass easily caught a long-range effort in 59 minutes. Benfield then attacked again but Brass easily collected the ball. Benfield then had a good chance to score from close range but shot over the bar. In 63 minutes, Lashley won the ball just outside the home box & passed to Reid, but the keeper got down in front of him to get to the ball 1st. In 65 minutes, Benfield shot over. Both teams continued trying to attack & in 69 minutes a long ball to Lashley saw him avoid a tackle but the keeper easily saved his shot. There was a continued few minutes of Stan pressure but it came to nothing. In 82 minutes, Kane intercepted the ball & supplied the advancing Hopper who shot just over. In 84 minutes, a ball from a Stan corner was cleared & the ball went back in & was cleared again. It was mainly pressure from the Stan now, but Benfield were not giving up. In 88 minutes, a Benfield attack was blocked 3 times. Soon after, Doyle crossed to Hopper who advanced into the box but the ball was cleared. Benfield then shot well over. Into 5 minutes of added time & Hopper advanced into the home box & was brought down but nothing was given. Benfield then had s shot blocked with the rebound effort going well over. The last action of the match saw the Stan defence stop a home attack. Hopper then attacked but was brought down although the 3 points were now guaranteed for the Stan.

The win moves the Stan up to joint 4th (5th on goal difference) & only 3 points off 3rd place with 4 games in hand. The team worked hard especially at the back, although Brass was rarely tested. Special mention should also be given to Doyle in midfield who lifted the man of the match award. The next challenge for the Stan comes on Saturday when they host 2nd place Shildon for the 1st time in the league since 23 February 1952.

Kevin Mochrie

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Newcastle Benfield vs Heaton Stannington

The Stan played local rivals Benfield for the 2nd time in 11 days but this time it was in cup action. Despite a 2nd half revival by the Stan, the match eventually resulted in the Stan narrowly exiting the Senior Cup in the 1st round. 

Unfortunately, the atmosphere was dampened by a serious accidental injury to Stan keeper Lewis Brass which resulted in him being replaced & having to go to hospital. Everyone’s thoughts are with him & hope that he will recover from his injuries soon. 

There were 8 changes from the team that beat West Allotment on Saturday with only Marriott, Shepherd & Stephenson starting both games.

Benfield started on the attack & they had a free kick cleared after 2 minutes. The Stan had the ball in the Benfield net after 6 minutes when a ball from a corner had initially been cleared then was headed into the net, but the flag went up for offside. Both teams were trying to attack but it was Benfield who nearly scored when, in 9 minutes, Brass blocked a home effort & the close range rebound shot was cleared off the line by Shepherd. From the resulting corner, Brass got up to catch the ball. 

Benfield were now looking dangerous although the Stan were attacking when they could. Benfield scored though from a speculative shot in the 16th minute, which was sent through a crowded box & went past Brass’s left & into the net. Benfield were looking in control now & had a number of attacks cleared. In 27 minutes, a home effort was headed clear with the follow up shot going well over the Stan bar. 

A rare joined up Stan attack in 28 minutes saw Doyle brought down in the box by the Benfield keeper. Anderson took the resulting penalty & blasted the ball into the net to make it 1-1 after 29 minutes. The goal appeared to waken up the Stan although Brass had to get down to block from close range in 32 minutes. The ball came back in & went straight across the goal line & eventually was put out for a corner. Both teams were trying to attack & Benfield blasted an effort over the bar in 36 minutes. 

In 40 minutes, Cassidy sent a free kick over the home bar but the Stan were playing better football now & the advancing Doyle then forced a corner. Things went disastrously wrong in the 45th minute when Shepherd under hit his intended pass to Hornsby allowing a Benfield player to get to the ball. Shepherd slipped trying to block him which allowed the player to put the ball past Brass & give Benfield an unexpected 2-1 lead at half time.

The 2nd half started quieter, but this was to change in the 51st minute. From a Benfield attack, Brass caught the ball to make a save but a player collided with him knocking him out & the ball was forced into the net. There was a long period of treatment before Brass was able to be carried off the pitch & a goal was given to Benfield. 

Shepherd replaced Brass in goal & Turnbull came on as a sub. The Stan didn’t give up & in 60 minutes Dunn had a long range shot blocked. Lamb & Slaughter were brought on to also show that the Stan meant business. In 63 minutes, Stephenson supplied Lashley who chipped the keeper, but his effort went slightly wide. 

Although the Stan were pressing, it was Benfield who had a clear opportunity in 66 minutes when, after Marriott had failed to clear, a home player advanced into the box but Shepherd got down to make a great block. There was then a period of sustained Stan pressure but unfortunately without any clear opportunity mainly due to the efforts of the home defence. In 79 minutes, Doyle, who worked hard all night, sent a great ball into the box & although Lashley missed it a Benfield player kicked the ball just wide for a corner which was eventually put over the bar by the Stan. 

The Stan kept pressing & dominating possession &, due to the injury to Brass, there was 10 minutes of added time. In 92 minutes, Lamb made a great run into the box, but the ball was cleared. Almost immediately the Stan attacked again when Slaughter sent the ball forward which saw Lamb nip through a line of defenders to get to the ball, round the keeper & shoot into the net. 

With only 1 goal in it now, there was everything to play for, but it was Benfield who nearly tied things up a minute later when Shepherd had to make a great save. This then resulted in 3 corners with Shepherd making a great save from the 2nd one when he put the ball over the bar. Soon after, Hornsby won the ball & supplied Lamb, but the home keeper just got to the ball 1st. The Stan were looking for an equaliser but they eventually ran out of time.

Benfield had much of the early play & were helped by 2 unfortunate goals, but the Stan showed their usual resilience & determination & nearly sent the match to penalties. Good substitutions by Dean Nicholson & excellent goalkeeping by stand in keeper Shepherd also helped. Subject to forecasted severe weather, the Stan are again in cup action this Saturday when they host Darwen in the FA Vase. The chance of playing at St James’ Park this season might have gone but a trip to Wembley is still possible!

Kevin Mochrie

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Newcastle Benfield vs Heaton Stannington

7:30 pm