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Newcastle Benfield 1 North Shields 1 (07/02/2019) – Robins fly into semi-finals

Paul Robinson scored a last minute equaliser as the Robin’s fought back from goal down to triumph 5-3 on penalties and grab a place in the semi-finals of the Northumberland Senior Cup at the expense of Newcastle Benfield.

North Shields started the brighter of the two sides but found themselves a goal down two minutes before half time as Jake Orrell converted from close range.
Robinson then broke Benfield hearts with almost the last kick of the game, firing into the top corner from the edge of the area to force extra time.

In the shootout, James Martin missed his penalty for the hosts, and after two successful conversions, up stepped the returning Gareth Bainbridge who fired the Robins into the semis.

Robins boss Marc Nash made three changes to the side that beat Penrith with captain Kev Hughes returning to the starting line-up and Bainbridge making his Robins return from the bench.

It was the visitors who started the stronger with Gary Day heading over from a good position and Ryan Carr forcing a fine save from Adam Grainger within the first 10 minutes.

But Benfield themselves should have went ahead five minutes later as James Novak headed a fantastic chance straight into the arms of Greg Purvis.

Both sides however struggled to create anything clear cut until the 43rd minute when the hosts went in front. Scott McCarthy saw his effort saved by Purvis, but Orrell was quick to pounce on the rebound, taking a touch past the Shields defence and slotting home.

The Robins found themselves on the backfoot at the beginning of the second half but Carr nearly equalised in the 67th minute as his header was blocked on the line.

As the visitors poured forward, Benfield sensed and opportunity to counter and Orrell went close with a vicious effort that rattled the bar.

Then barely a minute later Shields had Purvis to thank as he put his body on the line to deny McCarthy with a fantastic block. The Shields stopper had to receive lengthy treatment for a cut to the head and was replaced by Michael Robinson.

The break in play seemed to help the Robins refocus and they created numerous chances only to be denied by some fantastic last ditch defending.

However, their patience paid off as Paul Robinson popped up with the equaliser in the 11th minute of added time. He turned and twisted on the edge of the area leaving the Benfield defence for dead before finding the top corner with a fantastic strike.

The equaliser seemed to knock the stuffing out the hosts as the Robins controlled a largely uneventful extra time, but Benfield nearly snatched the win two minutes before the whistle but Michael Robinson did well to deny Dale Pearson.

The shootout saw some high class penalties from both sides only for Benfield to blink first to leave the Robins celebrating a place in the semis.

Line ups:
Newcastle Benfield: Andrew Grainger, Rhys Evans, James Martin, Mark Turnbull ©, James Novak, Richard Slaughter, Jake Orrell, Reece Noble, Paul Brayson, Scott McCarthy, Dale Pearson
Substitutes: Dean Holmes, Matthew Parker, Sol Bell, Danny Nimmins

North Shields: Greg Purvis (Michael Robinson 80’), Jack Donnison, Jordan Summerly, David Hall (Gareth Bainbridge 80’), Mark McManus, Kevin Hughes ©, Sean McRoberts, Craig Spooner, Gary Day (Callum Johnston 61’), Ryan Carr, Paul Robinson
Unused substitutes: Josh Nearney, Gary Ormston
Referee: Paul Brown
Attendance: 179