NEW­CAS­TLE BEN­FIELD 1 ASH­ING­TON 1

Sunday Sun - - Football -

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.

CHRIS CHAM­BERS

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