1874 BRASS(Y)ED OFF AT VASE EXIT
BY GARRY CLARKE
Having reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase last season 1874 Northwich were disappointed to fall at the first hurdle in this season’s competition.
It was inevitable that Paul Brayson, a hero in a past life to many green and black clad followers who made the long trip to the north east, would be the architect of 1874’s downfall opening the scoring in a game of few chances.
1874 started a scrappy first half brightly with Taylor Kennerley ending a run from the half way line with a shot from the edge of the area which Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger did well to save in the first couple of minutes while Callum Gardner sent a shot over the bar in the 10th minute.
In the 13th minute a Benfield free kick found its way to Brayson in the 1874 six yard box, with the goal at his mercy he scooped the ball over the bar from five yards out, he also cleared the bar ten minutes later with a header.
The home side was now starting to get on top. Jack Pritchard blocked a shot from Dennis Knight on the edge of the penalty area, and a last ditch Matt Russell tackle brought an end to another Benfield attack.
Jack Irlam surged forward from midfield, approaching the penalty area unleashed a powerful shot which Grainger did well to turn around the post.
Despite playing with a strong wind at their backs in the second half, 1874 fell behind in the 59th minute.
1874 lost possession in the middle of the pitch, Benfield moved the ball to the left wing from where James Martin crossed the ball into 1874’s penalty area. Unmarked Brayson planted a firm header into the 1874 net.
Benfield doubled their advantage ten minutes later when Scott McCarthy was left unmarked at the far post to, at close range, head home from a corner.
Five minutes later Brayson fired a free kick passed 1874’s defensive wall, 1874 goalkeeper James Coates managed to block the shot with his foot, following up Knight blazed the rebound high over the bar.
The game became stretched as 1874 committed more men forward in search of a way back into the game. Grainger, who earlier in the second half had fielded a Scott McGowan shot, did well to keep out a Kazim Waite-Jackson effort from distance as 1874 were unable to find a way past a determined hard working Benfield team who were content to see out the game.
The final word almost went to Brayson, in the dying seconds of an entertaining game Benfield’s leading goal scorer headed over the bar from close range.
NEWCASTLE BENFIELD – Grainger, Evans, Martin, Turnbull, Robson, Slaughter, Orrell, McCarthy (Pearson 76), Bryason, Knght (Scott89), Holmes. Subs not used Heany, Noval, Pell.
1874 – Coates, Connor (Tucker 67), Russell, Pritchard, Jones, Irlam, Gardner (Waite-Gardner 73), M Woolley, McGowan, Hare, Kennerley. Subs not used Weir, Preston, Rigby (gk).
GOALS – NB Brayson 59, McCarthy 69
ATTENDANCE 262 REFEREE G Hopper