In a way, today was kind of the last day of the proper season for me. Games were regular until today, but after today, it’ll basically be a case of doing what I can when I can. There aren’t many fixtures to be honest! I’ll be at Hartlepool United vs Salford City on Saturday but I’m not sure I’ll get anywhere before then. If I get the chance to go somewhere on Wednesday, I will, but there’s certainly no guarantee. The plan for today was just to do this game. If I could have got to either South Shields, Spennymoor Town or Gateshead Leam Rangers afterwards, I would have, but I wasn’t overly bothered if it was just this game. A game on Thursday, two on Friday, one on Saturday, one on Sunday and one on Monday is enough.
West Auckland win Brooks Mileson League Cup on penalties
West Auckland Town won the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup on Monday afternoon with a win on penalties against Newcastle Benfield.
Following a goalless draw, Ross Colquhoun scored the decisive penalty as West Auckland won 4-3 on penalties.
Although chances were at a premium in the first half, the first chance came with just 30 seconds played. Steven Snaith teed up Amar Purewal on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot was saved by Andrew Grainger.
A quiet spell then followed with little action worthy of note. The two sides were fairly matched, with neither carving out any clear-cut chances.
In the 21st minute, West Auckland had a good chance. Good football found Adam Mitchell who played a quick one-two with Snaith. The one-two set up a chance for Mitchell, but his shot darted wide.
Only 10 minutes of the first half remained when the next chance was created. A West Auckland cross picked out Purewal, but his header was too high.
A minute later, at the other end, Newcastle Benfield almost broke the deadlock. Dennis Knight’s pass found Jake Orrell who drove towards goal. He took aim from 16 yards, but his effort crashed back off the crossbar.
In first half injury time, West Auckland’s Lewis Dodds forced a save from Grainger, before Alex Francis forced a save from Shane Bland at the other end.
Following the break, West Auckland had a chance in the 48th minute. Mitchell’s good work down the wing saw him pick out Snaith, but his dinked effort landed on the roof of the net.
Bland forced a powerful Benfield effort in the 55th minute, before Knight stabbed an effort wide for West Auckland.
On the hour mark, Knight’s effort could only find the side netting for Benfield.
A superb save from Bland prevented a deflected Paul Brayson effort in the 70th minute, before James Martin was also denied by Bland after showing good strength to get a shot away.
Newcastle Benfield edged the second half, and they were looking the more likely to score late on. Brayson and Dale Pearson both had late efforts for the Newcastle outfit, but they couldn’t find a goal and it was to be decided on penalties.
Despite Benfield stopper Grainger saving Nathan Fisher’s first penalty, Bland then produced saves to deny Benfield’s Reece Noble and Dean Holmes.
Mitchell, Snaith and Denver Morris all tucked away their penalties for West Auckland, and Colquhoun scoring their fifth penalty meant West Auckland Town won 4-3 on penalties.
Congratulations to West Auckland Town.
Full-time: Newcastle Benfield 0-0 West Auckland Town (West Auckland Town win 4-3 on penalties)
Next up for me is Hartlepool United vs Salford City on Saturday unless I get to a game on Wednesday.
Newcastle Benfield: Grainger, Evans, Martin, Turnbull (c), Thompson, Robson (Holmes, 86′), Noble, Slaughter, Brayson, Orrell, Knight (Pearson, 77′)
Unused subs: Novak, Parker, Elliott
West Auckland Town: Bland, Mitchell, Price, Cobain, Hunter, Portas (Colquhoun, 66′), Hegarty (Fisher, 56′), Dodds (c), Purewal, Snaith, Francis (Morris, 84′)
Unused subs: Burnicle, Coulson
Admission: £6 adults, £3 concessions
Programme: £2 (But I didn’t get one as it was a double edition with Friday’s cup final and I got one there)
Referee: James Bancroft