NEWCASTLE BENFIELD 1 ASHINGTON 1
Newcastle Benfield (in blue and white) were frustrated as they could only draw with 10-man Ashington at home yesterday by an offside flag. As the half drew to a close there was another glut of chances for Mark Convery’s side.
The usually dependable Brayson dragged a shot wide from 10 yards and Pearson volleyed over the bar from the edge of the area.
But the best chance came in the last minute of the half as Colliers defender Lewis King was forced to clear a Mark Turnbull header from the goal line.
The half-time whistle blew and brought temporary respite for Grant and his overworked defenders.
But with it came frustration for the hosts as they reflected on 45 minutes of dominance that had provided no reward.
Their pressure continued and Benfield could have taken the lead early in the second half when Brayson released Knight in on goal but the forward could only send his effort wide of the far post with Grant beaten.
That missed chance seemed to lift Ashington and Butler had their first genuine chance 10 minutes into the half when he saw his low shot drift agonisingly wide of the far post.
But another chance came, and with it came a slightly undeserved lead for the Colliers.
Substitute Chris Youldon’s cross caused problems for Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger and Joe Robson and the loose ball ran to Gerard Richardson, who couldn’t miss from three yards out.
But the turning point came with the dismissal of Ashington striker Zak Atkinson on 70 minutes.
Benfield were level within moments of the red card as Benfield substitute Dean Holmes fired a cross into the area and a flying Brayson found the net with a stunning diving header.
There was almost late heartache for Ashington when Brayson came within inches of claiming a deserved winner but the veteran striker could only divert a Robinson header narrowly wide from eight yards out.
The final whistle came soon after, a fitting end to a frustrating day for the Sam Smith’s Park faithful.