Newcastle Benfield 2-1 Whickham: Late push from Whickham not enough as Lang Jacks slump to defeat

Whickham fall to second defeat in a row after Newcastle Benfield score in either half to seal the three points at Sam Smith’s Park.

The home side took the lead after Connor Walker slotted the ball into the net following a pullback from the right-wing.

Benfield then doubled their lead just after the hour mark, with Paul Brayson heading the ball home.

The Glebemen pulled a goal back through a Zak Atkinson header, leaving them with 15 minutes to find an equaliser.

Several chances came and went at the end of the game but the visitors were unable to find another goal.

Whickham came into the game with a bolstered squad after the likes of Zak Atkinson, Kieran Galbraith and Kyle Downey returning to the starting lineup.

The away side started the game brightly as Tom Howard picked out Dale Burrell on the edge of the area from the right-hand side, but the captain scuffed his shot wide of the post 10 minutes into the game.

The Lions struck the first blow when a cross was missed by Michael Hoganson, freeing up a winger who then picked out Walker, allowing the roaming midfielder to stroke the ball home after 19 minutes.

James Anderson then pulled off a Gordon Banks-esque save following a shot striking the bar, bouncing into the path of Brayson who dived to head the ball in from close range but with the ‘keeper clawing the ball off the line.

Brayson would not be denied midway through the second-half when the forward nodded in a cross after a corner was cleared to the edge of the area, despite the referee continuing the game after Burrell was seemingly down with a head injury.

The league’s top goalscorer then missed an opportunity to kill the game off after breaking away on the counter-attack, with the striker dinked the ball over the ‘keeper and the crossbar.

Steve Bowey’s men were then handed a lifeline through a powerful Atkinson header when Howard’s crisp delivery from the right-wing was met by the head of the attacker.

One last major chance came and went for the away side when slick build-up play freed up Howard one-on-one, but the full-back was denied by Kane Evans as the defender slid in to make an exceptional block.

Starting XI: J. Anderson, T. Howard, G. Priest, M. Hoganson, K. Galbraith, K. Downey (F. Martindale, 78′), D. Burrell (c), D. Bisset, S. Robson (K. Russell, 71′), M. Fitzpatrick, Z. Atkinson

Unused substitutes: L. Parral, A. Dixon, S. Bowey

Man of the match Kieran Galbraith spoke to Ben Robinson following the defeat:

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