Redcar Athletic failed to make headway against an evenly matched Newcastle Benfield, who contested the Steelmen’s first goalless stalemate of the season.
The Lions saw the better of a tight first half, and looked the more likely to break the deadlock, but after a resurgent Redcar missed a number of late chances, the two were forced to settle for a draw.
Recent injury woes largely dictated Forster’s eleven, as Coleman came in for the injured Holdsworth, whilst Hutchinson and Hall were forced to play through the pain barrier.
Nevertheless, Athletic showed plenty of endeavour, and almost grasped the perfect start through Sonni Coleman, whose low drive was met by a strong hand from Benfield’s Alfie Gordon.
Redcar’s early tirade continued in the first quarter of an hour, with Alfie Conway the next to sting the fingertips of Gordon, firing goal-wards after a clever lay off from Craig Hutchinson.
The home side gradually eked out a foothold in the contest, but tainted their dominance with poor finishing, as Callum Guy sliced over the bar from close range, and Kyle Errington skewed wide.
Layton Watts proved the biggest test for Redcar’s backline, causing a whole host of problems, the worst of which forcing Daryll Hall into a headed block, as his venomous effort flew towards goal.
The forward’s strike partner, Michael Colquhoun, was next in line to let Redcar off with a warning, as his rebound volley rattled the advertising hoardings.
As Benfield let golden opportunities go to waste, Alfie Conway popped up against the run of play with two stabs at goal, forcing a save out of Gordon, before his follow up was desperately blocked.
The break gave Athletic time to regroup and reappear with more intent, which Coleman nearly capitalised on once again, when his poked effort below Gordon prompted a last man clearance, with James Sayer baring down.
Newcastle still proved a threat on the offensive, keeping Jack Norton alert, as the shot-stopper sprawled to deny Colquhoun, before beating away the effort of Andrew Grainger minutes later.
Two gilt-edged opportunities for James Sayer almost notched the Steelmen a late lead, as the forward curled into Gordon’s grateful grasp, before he was felled fairly at the end of a later move.
Spurred on by an eagerly entertained crowd, the contest continued going from end to end, as Layton Watts’ inventive near post free kick added another flying stop to Norton’s highlight reel.
With the match entering its dying embers, Danny Boyle fashioned Redcar’s greatest chance, testing Gordon after weaving through the area, before Coleman stretched to slice a potential rebound behind.
The enjoyable affair finally drew to a close in the worst possible circumstances, as a serious injury for Michael Colquhoun brought a slightly premature end, with the young forward’s health the upmost priority.
|15/04/2023||3:00 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2022/23|