The first half of the match between Newcastle Benfield and West Auckland Town proved to be an action-packed affair with both teams displaying attacking intent early on.
In just the 2nd minute, West Auckland Town’s Josh Scott found the back of the net, but the linesman’s flag swiftly halted the celebrations as he was ruled offside. The early chance set the tone for an exciting opening phase.
West Auckland Town quickly asserted their dominance, and in the 7th minute, they broke the deadlock with a spectacular goal. Jackson’s well-delivered free-kick met the head of Gary Brown, who executed a diving header with precision, putting West in the lead.
As the first half progressed, West Auckland Town showcased their defensive strength. Goalkeeper Liversedge, pulled off two crucial saves, denying Newcastle Benfield’s attempts to equalize. West Auckland were determined to maintain their advantage and remained in control of the game.
In the 16th minute, West Auckland Town’s Blinco and Scott, both had promising chances to extend their lead, but they couldn’t quite find the target. Newcastle Benfield’s defence put in a resilient effort to thwart multiple attacks from the visitors.
The 20th minute saw another threatening moment for West Auckland Town. Jackson displayed his skill and creativity as he picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled it agonizingly wide, narrowly missing a chance to add to their lead.
As the first half wore on, Newcastle Benfield started to find their footing. Dennis Knight and James Fairly, former West Auckland Town midfielders, proved to be lively threats in their quest to bring their team back into the game. Nevertheless, West Auckland Town’s overall control and organisation allowed them to keep the hosts at bay.
After a fiercely contested first half, the referee blew the whistle for half-time, and the score remained 0-1 in favour of West Auckland Town.
The action resumed with West Auckland showing no sign of letting up the pressure. In the 52nd minute, Nicholson demonstrated excellent skill out wide, evading defenders with finesse. His low cross into the box found Cieran Jackson, who displayed audacity with a cheeky back-heel finish to extend West Auckland Town’s lead to 0-2.
As the game progressed, Newcastle Benfield fought hard to get back into the match, but West Auckland Town’s defence remained steadfast, denying them any clear-cut opportunities.
In the 66th minute, West showcased their clinical edge once again. Bailey played a perfectly weighted ball through the Newcastle Benfield defence, finding Josh Scott in a prime scoring position. Scott maintained his composure and coolly slid the ball under the onrushing keeper, further increasing West Auckland Town’s lead to 0-3. West were now firmly in control, leaving Newcastle Benfield with a mountain to climb.
With fifteen minutes left to play, West Auckland Town showed no signs of slowing down. They maintained control of the game, confidently dictating the tempo and thwarting any attempts from Newcastle Benfield to stage a comeback.
With 10 minutes to go West made their first substitution of the game bringing on Charlie Herron for his first team debut, he replaced Jordan Blinco.
In the 80th minute, Cieran Jackson, who had already made an impact on the game, once again showed his creativity and vision. Jackson delivered an inch-perfect pass to Josh Scott, who made no mistake with a smart finish, finding the back of the net to make it 0-4 and rounding off a fantastic performance.
In the 86th minute, Ashley Adams made his debut for West Auckland Town, entering the pitch to replace Liam Hegarty.
Next up for West Auckland is a visit from Northallerton in the FA Cup on 5th August 2023.