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Northumberland Senior Cup preview: Blyth Spartans – Newcastle Benfield

Newcastle Benfield look to reach the semi-finals of the Northumberland Senior Cup as they take on last season’s finalists Blyth Spartans at Croft Park on Tuesday.

Head-to-head

This will be the fourth game between the two sides in the competition, the Lions only visit to Croft Park saw Benfield win 2-1 back in 2011.

Several current and former Benfield players are familiar with the Spartans.

Lions manager Paul Brayson spent two years at Blyth under head coach Mick Tait between 2009 and 2011. In his debut season, he finished as the Conference North’s top scorer with 28 goals. 

Benfield forward Jay Errington is also part of the Blyth alumni, playing for the Spartans in last season’s Senior Cup final.

Current Spartans defender Rhys Evans had a spell at Benfield before leaving in 2019.

Paul Brayson playing for Blyth Spartans. (Image Credit: Steven NE)

Form 

Blyth currently sit 14th in the National League North table, with just one win in their last five league games. Their lone win came against Rushall Olympic on Saturday. Despite the bad run of form, the Spartans Green Army have scored 11 goals in their last five league games. Spartans begin their Senior Cup campaign after reaching the final last season, narrowly losing out to Morpeth Town. 

Brayson’s Benfield side has a similar story when it comes to form, winning just one of their last five league games. Their most recent win was a 7-1 thrashing of Northallerton Town on November, 25. The Lions have netted 10 times in their last five games. The Lions started their Senior Cup campaign with a 3-2 win against local rivals Heaton Stannington.

Where can you watch the game? 

Fans can watch the game at Croft Park on Tuesday, December 5 with kick-off at 7:30pm. 

Ticket information 

Admission prices are £8 for adults and £4 all concessions.

Paul Brayson of Newcastle Benfield (Credit: Kevin Killing)

Manager’s thoughts  

Newcastle Benfield manager Paul Brayson spoke ahead of the game, he said: “I really enjoyed my two years at Blyth under Mick Tait, so going back as a manager in the quarter-finals of the Senior Cup is fabulous for the club and for myself on a personal level.

“The lads are looking forward to it, and it should be a really good game of football for both sets of fans.”