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Newcastle Benfield 2 North Shields 4 (09/02/2019) – Robins blow Benfield away

The Robins put in a fantastic performance as four well-worked goals saw them to a comfortable victory at Newcastle Benfield.

After a dominant start, Shields were able to enter the break 2-1 up after fine strikes from Gary Day and Ryan Carr.

The dominance continued as Cam Cunningham and a second for Carr gave the Robins a three-goal advantage.

And despite a late consolation from Paul Brayson, the visitors held on for an impressive three points.

In blustery conditions, it was the Robins who began the game the stronger as an early effort from Jordan Summerly was deflected behind off a defender’s leg. The resulting corner fell to Josh Nearney, but his ferocious effort flew well over.

The visitors continued to press as in the 11th minute, a dangerous freekick from Callum Johnston got caught in the wind and sailed several feet over.

Benfield’s defence was struggling to contain the Robins forward line and before long, in the 14th minute, an excellent pass from Craig Spooner released Day through on goal, leaving him with a simple finish to give the visitors the lead.

It took until the 20th minute before Benfield has their first serious attempt on goal, with Scott McCarthy breaking into the penalty area, however, Michael Robinson came off his line to block the shot.

The wind was beginning to cause havoc and two minutes later, following a defensive mistake, Carr collected the ball before trying his luck at goal, only to see the ball loop over.

Benfield were starting to warm into the game and if not for an outstanding save from Robinson after 33 minutes, Brayson would have surely levelled the score.

It was backs to the wall for the Robins defence as three minutes later, an outstanding save from Robinson and a brilliant diving block from McManus helped to deny the Lions a way back into the game.

This seemed to spur the Robins on and six minutes before half time, Carr was played through on goal before calmly slotting the ball past Andrew Grainger.

However, before the referee blew for half time, Benfield managed to scrape their way back into the game when after Robinson couldn’t collect a corner, McCarthy was on hand to hammer the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

As the second half began, it became clear that the Robins weren’t done and only one minute after the restart, Day fired a shot only a few inches the wrong side of the post.

Day was on hand only a minute later to release Cunningham through on goal, however, after he weaved his way past two defenders, his shot was block by a third.

Recognising how close they were to adding a third, the Robins tried the same play again and after Day once again played Cunningham through on goal in the 51st minute, he made sure to convert his strike and extend the visitors lead.

Whilst the hosts were enjoying a fair amount of possession in this half, they were struggling to do much with it going forward, with Brayson once again having his shot well saved by Robinson after 60 minutes.

And they were made to pay as four minutes later, Carr powered towards the Benfield box before unleashing a ferocious shot past Grainger and into the back of the net from 20 yards out.

With the clock ticking on, Benfield started to press harder and harder in search of a way back into the game, however, it was the Robins who almost scored when after some brilliant play between Day and Jack Cooper in the 77th minute, the young winger had a shot which bobbled wide of the post.

The hosts, in search of their second of the game, threw bodies into the Robins box and after 80 minutes, they finally had their breakthrough when Brayson collected the ball six yards from goal before hammering the ball into the back of the net.

This goal really gave the hosts a hope of getting another and if not for excellent saves from Robinson in the 82nd and 85th minute, they could have made the final few moments very tense.

Their best (and last) chance came in the 86th minute when the ball fell to the feet of ex-Robin Dean Holmes only yards away from goal, however, his attempt was scuffed wide; summing up the game for the hosts.

As the game entered extra time, referee David Carr twisted his knee, with linesman Givi Todua stepping in to replace him. However, with no other official to replace the linesman, Robins keeper Greg Purvis, who is recovering from his head injury, stepped in to run the line for the final few moments.

Final Score: Newcastle Benfield 2 North Shields 4

Referee: David Carr

Attendance: 257

Newcastle Benfield Starting Eleven: Andrew Grainger, Rhys Evans, James Martin (Dean Holmes 55), Richard Slaughter, Mark Turnbull © (Parker 67), James Novak, Jake Orrell, Reece Noble, Paul Brayson, Scott McCarthy, Dale Pearson (Thompson 67)

Yellow Cards: Reece Noble 75

Unused Substitutes: Joseph Shepherd, Sol Bell

North Shields Starting Eleven: Michael Robinson, Josh Nearney, Jordan Summerly (Jack Donnison 45), Gary Ormston, Mark McManus, Kevin Hughes ©, Cam Cunningham, Craig Spooner (Jack Cooper 65), Gary Day, Ryan Carr, Callum Johnston (Sean McRoberts 56)

Yellow Cards: Gary Day 31

Unused Substitutes: Gareth Bainbridge, Josh Skivington