Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WONEWS to 80360, or email
Ben Rhydding experience degree of difficulty gainst university students
8:06am Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
Newcastle University 3 Ben Rhydding 4
Newly-promoted Ben Rhydding struggled in the absence of their skipper, goalkeeper and two other key players, as they sneaked a narrow win.
Danny Foster stepped back into his old half back role while Callum Franks was very busy in the D and caused the students all kinds of problems, but the team lacked its normal flow.
Franks was rewarded for his work when Will Musgrave pulled the Newcastle defence out of position and Franks was well placed to react to the keeper’s touch to score with a reverse flick.
However, Newcastle were quick to reply and seized upon a loose ball from Sam Robbins’ first save to equalise against the run of play.
Neil Sugden adapted his positioning skilfully to play as an attacking full back and the connections between him and Connor Dowley were of a class well beyond this league.
As ever, Tom Zillessen gave his heart and soul in breaking down play in midfield and the goal he scored to put Rhydding ahead was one of the best of the season. Kieran Borrett and Harry Sherlock intelli- gently created space and drew defenders away for Musgrave to hit an inch-perfect pass for Zillessen to take a well-rehearsed reverse stick deflection to send the ball flying over the keeper’s head.
Once again, the students answered with a breakaway goal and the score remained 2-2 at half-time. Newcastle were on the back foot for quite a spell after the break and inevitably corners came. Musgrave put away a bullet of drag flick to put his side ahead and this was followed quickly by goal number four.
Danny Foster arriving on the overlap picked out the impressive George Sweeting in the D and he didn’t need asking twice to slam the ball home.
A lapse in concentration late in the game gave Newcastle a consolation goal. With rivals Gateshead being held to a draw, Rhydding need only to win Saturday’s home game against Urmston to clinch the title.