A last minute winner ensured Ryhope CW got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle Benfield.

An 18th minute Nat Skidmore strike gave Ryhope the lead.

Newcastle Benfield equalised in the 70th minute through Paul Brayson.

But Corey Nicholson restored Ryhope’s lead in the third minute of added time to win the game.

A mixture of injuries and recent form forced Gary Pearson into a tactical change,  Welfare adopting a 3-5-2, something that the gaffer admitted he’d thought about in preseason.

The first time either goal was really tested wasn’t until the 15th minute when Thomas Bott’s effort from distance forced a save from Andrew Grainger

The breakthrough came a couple of minutes later when Skidmore found space outside the box, he released a phenomenal strike from 30 yards which found the top right corner of the goal.

Ryhope had a chance to double their lead almost immediately when they got a penalty for a shirt pull on the edge of the box. Home-Jackson fired over. 

Jonny Ball was tested from distance by Brayson in the 30th minute.

Benfield had another chance soon after when Ryhope failed to clear their lines, the ball fell to Scott McCarthy who squared to Joe Hailes who fired over from the centre of the box.

Welfare were largely in control, but creating few chances, meanwhile Benfield did force Ball into action, the keeper saving a decent effort from a free-kick before getting his foot to the follow up.

The Lions found an equaliser in the 70th minute when Nicholson failed to connect to a Grainger hoof, this allowed Brayson in behind one-on-one, the striker chipping over Ball in the Ryhope goal.

Despite having more of the ball in good areas, Ryhope struggled to create and Benfield had a chance to take the lead in the 83rd minute, Hailes failing to put a ball at the back post towards goal.

Colliery Welfare then got the winner they’d deserved when Kyle Davis crossed to the back post where Corey Nicholson was waiting to head in.

On a much needed win to turn around a run of three straight league defeats, Gary Pearson said “it’s always good to end one of these sorts of ruts”

“I changed things up a bit, I felt we needed a change, we played well today and deserved the win.

Ryhope now head into a difficult fixture away at league leaders Morpeth, on the fixture Pearson said “it will be tough but we’ll head into it like it’s any other fixture. We’ll try and play our way and put our game on the pitch, we won’t just lie down for the league leaders.

“I’m actually missing the game, I’m away in Leeds, something that was planned before the fixtures even came out. But I trust Stuey and the lads to prepare and manage the game properly without me.”