West Auckland Town 1-0 Newcastle Benfield
Lewis Dodds early second half strike gave West Auckland a narrow win over Newcastle Benfield.
Richard Slaughter missed a penalty for the visitors on 38 minutes after Danny Parker brought down Scott McCarthy.
However, Dodds struck for West in the 47th minute with a left-footed volley in off the post to record a second consecutive victory.
It was a slow start from both sides with the possession being kept nicely balanced in a scrappy contest.
The first real chance didn’t arrive for West until the half hour mark when Nathan Fisher picked out Amar Purewal, though he could only drag his effort straight into the hands of Andrew Grainger.
Eight minutes later, Newcastle Benfield were awarded a penalty when Parker tripped McCarthy inside the box and from the resulting spot-kick, Slaughter stepped up and hit it high over the bar, scraping it along the way as West got to half-time still on level terms.
Gary Forrest’s side upped their tempo after the interval and took the lead on 47 minutes, following a clinical left-footed strike from Dodds which deflected in off the post and left Grainger rooted to the spot.
The visitors almost responded a minute later when McCarthy found himself in a one-on-one position, though Shane Bland was alert to the danger and made a smart save with his right-foot.
Newcastle Benfield pressed for an equaliser and won a free-kick on 60 minutes through Jordan Laidler, who saw his effort clawed away at full stretch in what was a great save by Bland.
Ten minutes later, Tom Portas decided to test Grainger from the edge of the area with a crisp strike but was kept out with some exceptional reflexes.
Moments before the full-time whistle, both sides threatened with one last attack each.
Bland was forced into action and was determined to keep his second clean sheet with a decisive stop at the near post.
Meanwhile Fisher had a chance to double West’s lead and his shot was expertly tipped round the post by Grainger as the hosts had to settle for a 1-0 win.
West remain in 7th place in the Division One table with nine points from their opening five matches.
Next up for West is the same opposition in the FA Cup Preliminary Round at the Sam Smith’s park on Saturday afternoon. (15:00)
West Auckland – Bland, Hegarty, Price, Snaith, Parker, Cobain, Mitchell (McKeown, 87), Portas, Fisher (c), Dodds(Francis, 86), Purewal
Subs not used – Doninger, Colquhoun, Wearmouth
Goal – Dodds (47)
Newcastle Benfield – Grainger, Evans, Martin, Laidler(Brayson, 61), Turnbull (c), Robson, Holmes, Slaughter, McCarthy (Knight, 56), McEvoy, Pearson (Orrell, 64)
Subs not used – Grieve, Devlin
Referee – Martin Conroy
Attendance – 198
Report by Harry Crowe