WASHINGTON FC 1 – NEWCASTLE BENFIELD FC 3
(Half Time: Washington 1 – Newcastle Benfield 1)
Saturday 31 October 2017 Kick off - 19:45 pm Ebac Northern League - Division 1 Attendance: 68
Taking chances was the difference between Washington and Newcastle Benfield on Tuesday evening in an entertaining game at Nissan.
In a bid to climb out of the relegation zone, Washington manager James Clark had tinkered with his side’s formation as they prepared to host Newcastle Benfield on Tuesday evening. The change in tactics showed encouraging signs for Washington from the start, despite a number of first team players being unavailable through various injuries.
It took the home side just five minutes to find the opening goal, Cameron Wilson working hard to evade his marker on the left-hand side before pulling the ball back to Jake Pickard who comfortably slotted the ball home. The lead was short-lived however, when, just minutes later, a deep cross from the right was met on the run by Benfield’s Joe Hailes at the back post to level the score. What ensued was a half of entertaining end-to-end football with both sides using a high tempo and creating chances.
Pickard continued to prove a handful as the lone-striker, a delicate one-two with Lewis Herron gave him a great opportunity to put the Mechanics back in front soon after Benfield’s equaliser but his shot came back off the inside of the post.
At the other end of the pitch Benfield talisman Paul Brayson was proving to be a tough test for the Washington defence, with the ability to create space for the shot from the most unlikely of situations but Washington’s back line remained resolute and did well to deal with the danger. Benfield’s Jake Orrell had come close to signing for Washington before choosing to play his football at Walkergate; those believing in bad omens would have been nervous to see him with an opportunity to put Benfield ahead just before half-time, however, his shot from the edge of the area was narrowly wide and the two sides went into the break all square.
The early minutes of the second half brought with them the game’s first booking as Michael Laws brought down Brayson as he tried to control the ball around twenty-five yards out. There was some discussion over the ball in the subsequent free kick before Brayson stepped up to smash the ball into the bottom right-hand corner. The response from Washington was a spirited one as they attempted to lift themselves; fighting for the ball and searching for areas to exploit around the pitch.
Rhys Evans was particularly active with a couple of surging runs before cutting inside and forcing saves from Benfield’s Daniel Nimms. Washington’s efforts were not rewarded and just minutes from time the ball fell to Richard Slaughter who spotted keeper Dan Gladstone off his line and sent the ball sailing over the Washington stopper and into the net from the centre-circle.
The game finished 1-3 to the visitors.
Reaction from manager James Clark was one of disappointment over the result but also encouraged by his team’s performance. Speaking post-match, he said;
“That one was really hard to take…we’ve moved the ball really, really well and we’ve probably created more chances than we have all season but when you create the chances you’ve got to put them away.”
Washington now turn their attention to Saturday when they play Guisborough Town who have picked up more than half of their total points this season in their last six games.
When asked about how big Saturday will be for his side, Clark responded, saying;
“They’re all big ones, there’s no difference to anyone… I think the lads have shown tonight how much they’ve grown together and the result is a kick in the teeth.”
|31/10/2017||7:45 pm||Northern League Division 1||2017/18|
|Nissan Sports & Leisure Complex|
|A1290, Sunderland SR5 3NT, UK|