Brayson hat-trick sinks Robins

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Newcastle Benfield 3-1 North Shields

FA Vase

North Shields exited the FA Vase at the Third Round Proper stage following a poor second-half display.

Paul Brayson hit the first of his hat-trick with a stunning strike in the 26th minute.

But the Robins quickly levelled as Craig McFarlane saw his free-kick nestle into the bottom corner.

Benfield restored their lead just after the break in fortuitous fashion as Joe Robson’s miss-clearance set up Brayson.

And the visitors failed to recover from their early second-half setback as the hosts’ ran out comfortable winners with Brayson adding his third from close-range in the 69th minute.

The absent Richard Pell was filled by Robson, who partnered captain Kevin Hughes at the heart of the Robins defence.

Both sides were even in the early exchanges and both had their chances.

The first big opportunity fell to Benfield as Alex Nisbet headed over Jake Orrell’s cross from close range in the 10th minute.

Five minutes later, Shields responded with a key opening of their own when Gareth Bainbridge’s dangerous delivery eventually fell to Lee Mason, but the attacker failed to hit the target from 12 yards.

In the 18th minute, Nisbett had the ball in the net for the home side but had it disallowed for a foul in the build up as Benfield grew in confidence.

The hosts went on to open the scoring, but first they had keeper Andrew Grainger to thank as he made himself big to deny Mason in the 23rd minute.

Shields thought they had cleared their lines from the home side’s corner but Brayson cleverly peeled off into space before aiming his shot past Sean McCafferty from around 25 yards out.

The home side’s lead lasted just over four minutes as McFarlane’s low free-kick took a slight deflection on its way into the bottom right-hand corner.

Brian Smith’s men had their tails up at the end of the first-half as Grainger awkwardly denied a Shields player with his legs following a shot from the edge of the area.

Tempers flared before the break as Lee Mason received yellow for his challenge on James Novak. Lewis Scorgie’s reaction then caused a brawl between the two sets of players.

The visitors were relatively happy going into the interval but that soon turned in the second period.

Robson’s sliced clearance in the 48th minute gifted Brayson a free shot at goal, and with time on his side, made no mistake by placing his shot home.

With the Robins behind on the score line, Smith reshuffled his pack as Rhys Groves replaced Ryan Carr – allowing Robson to join the midfield while Groves slotted in alongside Hughes.

Shields’ best bet of finding an equaliser came through Holmes as well as Robson, who should have done better with his off-target effort on the hour mark.

Dan Wilson joined the action in place of Mason, as Smith changed his formation to two up top.

However, the Robins had barely any time to adjust as a minute later, Brayson completed his hat-trick.

A simple low cross from the left-hand side undone the visitors defence as Brayson made the run to the front post to touch the ball in unmarked.

If Benfield weren’t already out of sight, they soon should have as Laquan Esdaille somehow failed to at least hit the target from a great position in the box.

Coincidentally, Shields went route one in a bid to get themselves back into it, but the physical centre-half pair of Esdaille and Scorgie weren’t to be denied.

Wilson oversaw the Robins greatest opportunity of pulling one back in the final minutes but failed to direct his shot on target whilst stretching for the ball.