Benfield are on cloud nine

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NEWCASTLE Benfield improved their goals difference and position near the bottom of the Ebac Northern League First Division when they rifled nine goals against basement side Billingham Town at Bedford Terrace last night.

Steve Bowey’s side dominated from the start and once man-of-the-match Paul Brayson gave them a third-minute lead, it was all over for the hosts who went in at the interval four goals behind following further strikes by Carl Patterson, Stephen Tobin and Stephen Baptist.

The Teessiders had a period of 34 minutes when they didn’t concede again but Benfield then struck five times in the final 22 minutes.

Brayson’s hat-trick took his personal tally to four goals and Bowey rifled a brace.

Benfield are now eighth-from-bottom, six points ahead of Team Northumbria who occupy the last relegation place.

The other scheduled First Division game between Celtic Nation and Ashington was an early casualty while the Durham Challenge Cup Second Round ties between South Shields and West Auckland Town and Spennymoor Town versus Durham City, together with the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup Second Round match involving Heaton Stannington and Brandon United, were also postponed because of waterlogged pitches.

H Tonight, three Durham Challenge Cup ties are down for decision. Seaham Red Star face a stiff challenge at Shildon, who are second in the ENL First Division, only three points behind Celtic Nation with two games in hand.

Consett host Hartlepool United at Belle Vue while Wearside League team Seaton Carew will be looking to upset the form book at Billingham Synthonia.

In the ENL First Division Guisborough Town have the chance to go level on points with fourth-placed Spennymoor Town and Ashington when they have home advantage over Penrith.

Dunston UTS will be looking to move into the top half of the table by defeating Marske United on Tyneside.