Rothbury 1 Benton Con Club 2
NFA Minor Cup Round Three
Saturday 3rd April 2021
The writing was on the wall when a James Jackson header was headed off the line – and Rothbury were dumped out in the third round by opponents from the Corinthians League despite piling on the late pressure.
The surprise banana skin left red-faced Reds players and staff deflated after such a long awaited return to the game because, make no mistake, the officials at Armstrong Park have been keen to make a big impact on the Minor competition over the past four seasons.
They have, however, been frustrated by some below par and unexpected exits and that hoodoo continued as the Reds led at the break but were pegged back and left ultimately frustrated by a second half double from the hard-working visitors.
Boss Danny Olson’s side were one of the top-ranked outfits left in the Northumberland FA’s cup contest and it all got off to a great start when Jackson got in between a couple of defenders and glanced a header over the Benton keeper to give the Reds an 13th minute opener.
But Benton levelled five minutes after the break as Ryan Lemmon’s header from a corner pinged off the woodwork but ended up in the back of the net after a deflection.
Ten minutes later heads were in hands as Callum Wilson was sent clear through to round the keeper and roll the second into the empty net.
“There are no excuses from our point of view – on a day where many had off days, we can’t complain about the result. I know we have good strength of character and we get the chance to bounce back on Wednesday night,” said Olson.
The Reds stepped up a gear to try and salvage something from the game and although goal-line clearances saved the visitors on a couple of occasions, they could have added a third on the break with Rothbury piling forward.
It is Benton that will now host Newcastle University’s A team for a spot in the quarter finals with Cramlington United looking strong favourites at this stage – all giant-killing acts aside and Haltwhistle Jubilee’s visit to Newcastle EE Reserves pending.
– Jon Tait (https://thenorthernassociation.blogspot.com/)