Newcastle Benfied 5 Consett 0
JR Cleator Cup
Sam Smiths Sports Ground - Saturday 1 August 2009


Nicholson 14
Scope 17 (pen)
Young 24, 58
McIntosh 89

Andrew Grainger
Paul Buzzeo (Michael Latimer 69)
Dean Fuller
Alu Bangura
Kevin Leighton
Philip Lumsden
Adam Scope (Andrew McIntosh 76)
Paul Antony
Stephen Young
Dean Nicholson (Adam Rowntree 79)
Mark Atkinson
Subs: Jeff Forsyth, Tony Stephenson

Daniel Staples
David Scorer
Mark Gaffney (Paul Collins 64)
Jonjo Dickman
Carl Piecha
Nathan Fisher (Andy Cuthbertson 64)
Chris Scott
Craig Robson (Paul Henderson-Reay 73)
Richard Logan
David Pounder
Gary Ormston
Subs: Ian Davison, Shaun Sager



RAGGED Consett came away from last season's double winners with their tails between their legs after suffering a proper hiding in this seasonal curtain-raiser.

With defenders David Johnson and Michael Coulthard and strikers Adam Emson, Steven Johnson, Kevin Davison and Craig Tate missing for various reasons, the Steelmen were without some key players, but there was no excuse for the manner of the defeat.

It was a baptism of fire for teenage goalkeeper Daniel Staples, who was only signed three days before the game, and a debut fellow new signing Nathan Fisher will want to forget. There were three other new faces on the bench, but still plenty of experience in the 16.

Consett started brightly, and could have gone ahead in the first minute when Chris Scott's free-kick in from the left bounced invitingly in the box, Gary Ormston just failed to capitalise, and a defender hooked it off the line. Then on five minutes Richard Logan, playing up front with David Pounder, looked certain to score when Ormston got to the byline down the right and pulled it back, only for a defender to get a vital foot in.

Gary Ormston goes close

Benfield gave warning of things to come after 10 minutes when Adam Scope and Stephen Young cut through the Consett defence, but David Scorer managed to clear. The opening goal was only four minutes away, however, and it was a cracker from Benfield's Dean Nicholson. He let fly from fully 35 yards, and although Staples got a touch, he was powerless to keep it out.

Nathan Fisher takes on a defender

Logan tried his luck with a couple of speculative efforts from outside the box, but in truth Consett were missing Emson's willingness to show and Johnson's pace up front, and it was no surprise when Benfield doubled their advantage on 17 minutes. Nicholson found himself in space down the left, and cut in towards goal. He tried to take the ball round the onrushing Staples, who hauled him down. With the Consett contingent fearing a red card, the referee produced only yellow, and Scope made it 2-0, sending the 'keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.

On 24 minutes things got worse for Consett when a long ball forward caught the defence out, and Young picked his spot to make it 3-0. The Steelmen were being run ragged, with their defence dragged all over the place, midfield creating little, and the ball not sticking up front.

Their only response was a snapshot from Pounder from the edge of the box which trundled harmlessly wide, and the Steelmen were left arguing among themselves when Benfield left-back Dean Fuller advanced and put in a dangerous cross-shot which somehow evaded everyone.

It was a relief when the half-time whistle came with no further damage done, giving the beleaguered side in red some respite and a chance to regroup.

Half time: Benfield 3-0 Consett

The same XI came out for the start of the second-half, and Consett looked to have a bit more fight about them. Pounder certainly did when he became involved in a tussle on the ground with Benfield's Mark Atkinson which could easily have resulted in both players seeing red. Instead, the referee settled for a yellow card apiece.

The home side still carried the main attacking threat, however, and Nicholson and Paul Antony threatened to make it four 11 minutes into the half after again stretching Consett's back three, only for Scorer to clear the danger. The inevitable wasn't long in coming though, and Atkinson's unmolested raid down the left gave Young time to pick his spot and make it 4-0.

Staples made an excellent point-blank save from centre-half Kevin Leighton, who met Scope's cross with a powering header as Benfield turned the screw, and Consett were fortunate no one got a touch on another cross as Atkinson again tormented them down the left.

Consett clear a corner

Kenny Lindoe made a double substitution on 64 minutes, bringing on defender Paul Collins for his debut in place of Mark Gaffney, and Andrew Cuthbertson in midfield for Nathan Fisher.

Richard Logan fends off Benfield attention

The changes made little difference, and, apart from a couple of long-range efforts which didn't trouble the keeper, Consett offered little in the way of a goal threat. Even the introduction of another new face, striker Paul Henderson-Reay, for midfielder Craig Robson, didn't improve things much.

With eight minutes to go Benfield almost made it five, when Young took advantage of indecisiveness between Consett skipper Carl Piecha and former Nissan man Collins to crash a shot against the bar. When the visitors' defence failed to clear the danger Staples had to save smartly from Benfield sub Andrew McIntosh at his near post.

He wasn't to be denied though, and with a minute left McIntosh became the latest home player to exploit the chaos in the Consett penalty area, smashing home a fifth with the visitors all at sixes and sevens.

Benfield deservedly added the Cleator Cup to the Division One title and League Cup they won last season, and on this showing Consett have a long way to go if they're to stand a chance of being contenders for silverware this season.

Full time: Benfield 5-0 Consett