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North Shields 1 Newcastle Benfield 3 (23/02/2019) – Robins rue late Brayson double

A brace from Paul Brayson inflicted the Robin’s second defeat in a row as the Lions overcame North Shields 3-1.

The hosts went behind early in the first half when Dale Pearson’s calm finish beat the Robins keeper at his near post.

However, a Callum Johnston strike midway through the half brought the Robins deservedly level as they entered the break.

And with the game heading for a draw, Brayson stepped up to beat Robinson twice in the dying moments to send the visiting fans home happy.

Shields were under the cosh early in the game and in the eighth minute, some fantastic defending from Mark McManus prevented Brayson from charging into the box with the ball.

Four minutes later saw more great defending from McManus as his timely header denied former Robin Dean Holmes a chance at the back post.

Benfield’s early pressure was rewarded when, in the 15th minute, Pearson collected the ball on the edge of the area, from a Brayson pass, before calmly passing the ball beyond the outstretched arm of Robinson.

As the clock hit the 20th minute, it was the turn of the Robins to try their luck on goal when Sean McRoberts fired a rasping effort which flew narrowly wide of the goal.

The Robins were not made to regret this miss as in the 28th minute, Johnston picked up the ball from around 20 yards out before unleashing a ferocious shot which keeper Andrew Grainger could do nothing about.

With the game finely balanced, both teams knew that the next goal could be crucial. In the 35th minute, a tremendous save from Robinson, just as it looked like the ball had beaten him, denied Benfield a goal which would have sent the visitors into the half with their tails up.

As the second half began, both sides were trading blows, but it was the Lions who were the first to make an impression on the half. After 53 minutes, Pearson couldn’t have had a clearer chance all season to score, however, he somehow could only send his effort wide of the right-hand post.

With 30 minutes left in the game, the Robins had a golden chance to take the lead when McRoberts was tripped inside the box, giving the referee no choice but to award the penalty. Unfortunately, Grainger guessed correctly and parried Johnston’s spot kick to safety.

The Robins were piling forward in search of a second goal, coming close on a number of occasions, however, they were dealt a blow when, in the 85th minute, Benfield were awarded a spot kick of their own. Despite Robinson’s heroic save, Brayson collected the rebound and gave the visitors the lead against the run of play.

Desperate to salvage a draw, the hosts were throwing bodies forward, only for the visitors to capitalise at the death. On the stroke of 90 minutes, Brayson’s header at the far post, from a corner, killed the game off.

Final Score: North Shields 1 Newcastle Benfield 3

Attendance: 212

Referee: Christopher Keightley

North Shields Starting Eleven: Michael Robinson, Craig Spooner, Jack Cooper (Paul Robinson 57), Josh Nearney, Mark McManus, Kevin Hughes ©, Sean McRoberts (Josh Skivington 79), David Hall, Gary Day, Gary Ormston, Callum Johnston (Cam Cunningham 65)

Yellow Cards: Mark McManus 40

Unused Substitutes: Greg Purvis

Newcastle Benfield Starting Eleven: Andrew Grainger, Rhys Evans, Dean Holmes, Mark Turnbull ©, Jake Thompson, James Novak, Reece Noble, Richard Slaughter (Jordan Laidler 81), Paul Brayson, Jake Orrell, Dale Pearson

Yellow Cards: N/A

Unused Substitutes: Matthew Parker, James Martin, Joe Shepherd, Tom Bexton