Newcastle Benfield 1-1 Guisborough Town
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
KO KO 37 58 67 FT
Guisborough Town produced a dominant display at Newcastle Benfield on Saturday but in the end had to be content with a draw which was a disappointing return for all their efforts.
Once again, a lack of incisive finishing was the Priorymen’s Achilles heel – but there are mitigating factors for this, and Guisborough actually hit the post twice and the Benfield bar once as they pressed for that all-important opening goal. To be fair, the Priorymen are still without their big, bustling striker Jason Blackburn who is recovering from breaking his ankle recently.
And secondly, leading scorer Cole Kiernan arrived at Benfield still suffering from a chest infection and had to take his place on the subs’ bench – but nevertheless he bravely came on near the end and almost scored to win the match for his side. Despite their overall dominance however, Benfield almost nicked the points when their veteran player-manager Paul Brayson shot wide with the goal at his mercy, so Guisborough were probably relieved to have salvaged a point in the end.
Guisborough had looked well in command right from the whistle and created a stack of chances in the first half but nevertheless went in a half-time a goal down scored in the 37th minute by Layton Watts. After the interval the game was more even but Guisborough deservedly drew level when Liam O’Sullivan joined the attack to equalise on 65 minutes.
After the game a frustrated Guisborough Manager Steve Bell commented:
Behind the scenes we’ve been talking about how we take the team to the next level and clearly the answer is that we need to score more goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean different players but just a different mind-set from some of the players we have.
We dominated 90 per cent of the first half yet we went in 1-0 down. I had a little go at the lads in the dressing room about showing more urgency in their box and definitely getting more bodies in there.
In the second half although we were again the better team things were a little more even but our urgency in their box was different level from the first half and to be honest once we equalised we should have gone on to win the game. That said, they had a great chance at the end to win it so you end up being relieved with a point. But on reflection it’s another two points dropped.
For the first half hour of the match it was all Guisborough with a virtual one-way procession towards the Benfield goal with Callum Martin, JJ Bartliff and Mikey McGee all prominent in several menacing attacks but to no avail in terms of the scoreline.
But it was Benfield who broke the deadlock in the 37th minute with a well-worked goal as Ben Dibb-Fuller and Connor Walker combined down the left and produced a perfect cross into the middle where Layton Watts scored with a well-placed header for 1-0 to Benfield.
Virtually on the stroke of half-time Guisborough skipper JJ Bartliff struck the Benfield post with a fierce drive and that just about summed up the Priorymen’s luck in the first 45 minutes.
In the second half Benfield made more of a game of it but it was still Guisborough who were looking the most likely team to score and so it proved in the 67th minute when the Priorymen swarmed forward and two efforts were blocked but Liam O’Sullivan latched on to one Kiernan rebound to lash the loose ball home.
In the 79th minute the brave Kiernan came a whisker close to increasing his goals tally to 22 but agonisingly saw his header strike the post. Five minutes later Kiernan featured again when he latched on to some great Guisborough play but his goal-bound shot was saved.
Just before the end Guisborough won a corner and defender Nick Hood got in a good header but it flashed wide. In the dying seconds Benfield’s newly-appointed Player-Manager Paul Brayson had a great chance to nick the points for his side but he shot wide close in right in the middle of the Guisborough goal.
The hard-earned point maintained Guisborough’s fifth place in the table. The attendance was 187 with a good following from Guisborough making the trip up the A19 to Tyneside.
Report: Bill Perfitt
|1 - 1
|4 - 1
|0 - 2
|6 - 0
|Sam Smith's Park
|Benfield Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear. NE6 4NU