Matty Pattison’s reign as Whickham manager got underway with a 2-0 defeat at home to Newcastle Benfield.
After a fairly even start to the game, it was the visitors that went ahead through a neat Cyril Giraud finish on 25 minutes.
Max Cowburn went within inches of drawing level when his free-kick rattled the post right on the stroke of half-time.
Ross Peareth’s sending-off, just after the hour mark, changed the complexion of the game. Benfield went on to create a whole hosts of chances in the final half-hour.
Peter Glen-Ravenhill was denied by the post on 87 minutes, but veteran striker Paul Brayson managed to wrap up the points three minutes later.
The Lang Jacks hadn’t played a competitive match in three-and-a-half weeks and Pattison’s wait to take charge of his first game was finally over.
Benfield created the first opening, after just two minutes. James Novak whipped a dangerous cross into the area and Mechack Kanda was denied by Adam Bartlett.
Jonny Burn’s delightful cross-field pass was brought down exquisitely by Chad Collins, who cut inside before striking wide of the target.
The fast-paced start to the game started to die down after the opening stages and the visitors went ahead on 25 minutes.
From a goal-kick, Andrew Grainger punted the ball long, which was pounced upon by Giraud, who kept his composure through on goal, slotting home.
The home side suffered a set-back on 32 minutes when striker Scott Robson come off with an injury, with Daniel Cranston replacing him.
Bartlett was on hand to keep the game at 1-0, on 43 minutes. A dissecting pass released Giraud, who was denied by the ‘keeper.
Whickham went close to snatching an equalising goal on the stroke of half-time. Cowburn struck a free-kick across goal and although it had Grainger beaten, the ball cannoned off the post and was scrambled clear.
Down the other end went Benfield, who were denied again by Bartlett. Brayson cut back onto his right foot, but his shot was gathered by the ‘keeper.
Coming out after half-time, the two sides were evenly matched, but the hosts found themselves a man down on 61 minutes.
Peareth was shown his second yellow card of the game for a challenge near the halfway line and the Lang Jacks had 10-men for the rest of the game.
The visitors made the most of the man advantage and created quite a few openings. Glen-Ravenhill and Giraud both had efforts saved by Bartlett.
Whickham’s ‘keeper was certainly putting in a man of the match performance and was called upon again, this time on 77 minutes.
Brayson raced towards goal and slipped the ball to his right, to Giraud, who was denied by the legs of Bartlett.
The home side created their first opening of the second-half on 83 minutes. Lee McAndrew cut back inside from the left and struck inches over the bar.
Benfield closed out the game on the front foot and after Glen-Ravenhill struck the post, the visitors put the game to bed on 90 minutes.
There was a hint of offside in the build-up, Whickham’s back line certainly thought so. Nevertheless, Brayson went through on goal and tucked the ball into the bottom corner.
Whickham remain winless in the league since mid-August and travel to Thornaby on Saturday afternoon.
Whickham: Bartlett, Howard, Exley, Pattison, Galbraith (Hedley, 75), Burn, McAndrew, Peareth, Robson (Cranston, 32), Cowburn (Scothern, 63), Collins
Newcastle Benfield: Grainger, Parker, Novak (Baltazar, 82), Turnbull, Varga, Robson (Noble, 68), Richardson (Glen-Ravenhill, 32), Haley, Brayson, Kanda, Giraud
Subs Not Used: O’Reilly, Ntampizas
Goals: 0-1, 25, Giraud; 0-2, 90 min, Brayson
Referee: Graeme Hopper
Assistants: Matthew Davidson and Kirk Freeth
Photo: Will Matthews