Jarrow Roofing boss Richie McLoughlin has taken positives from his side’s late defeat at Newcastle Benfield.
Roofing took the lead through Dan Kirkup but a lapse of concentration allowed Paul Brayson to equalise for the hosts before Benfield snatched the win through Dylan McEvoy’s strike right at the death.
The South Tynesiders would have extended their unbeaten run to nine games had they held on but McLoughlin has remained upbeat following the defeat.
“I thought it was a good game,” he said.
“Towards the end I thought either side could have won and they needed a great strike to beat us. We battled and battled but it just didn’t happen for us.”
The first half saw little in the way of action, with both sides struggling to break each other down. Roofing’s best chance of the half came in the 43rd minute when Dennis Knight managed to work a dangerous cross into the box but Kirkup failed to keep his header down.
Benfield had a headed opportunity of their own just before the interval. McEvoy’s free-kick from the left hand side was glanced wide by Stephen Tobin.
Both sides pushed on in the second half, making for a much more entertaining affair. Brayson was presented with the opportunity to give the hosts the lead on 51 minutes as he found himself free in the Roofing penalty area but his shot met the side netting.
Roofing went straight up the other end and Kirkup made no mistake in giving his own side the lead. Captain for the day in the absence of Shaun Vipond, the big man led by example by breaking past his man and slamming home a superb effort beyond the helpless Benfield goalkeeper.
Moments later, Lewis Brass was forced into a spectacular save from a header that look destined for the top left corner. Brass managed to get across his goal and tip it narrowly over the crossbar.
Benfield grabbed the equaliser in the 72nd minute as Brayson managed to run through the Roofing defence, go around Brass and roll the ball into an empty goal for his 50th goal of the season.
The hosts took the lead in the 87th minute through McEvoy’s stunning long range effort. The 25-yard strike was almost dealt with by Brass but he was unable to keep it out despite getting a hand to the shot.
McLoughlin reserved particular praise for Ethan Wood who was chosen as Roofing’s Man of the Match. The young midfielder recently joined on work experience from Hartlepool United and he impressed here, showing a good touch and ability on the ball.
“He’s a young lad who throughout the game was our best player. He’s got a lot of energy and he’s a good passer of the ball.
“It was a tight choice between him and Kirkup, for me, because he had a really good game too but Ethan’s come into the side and performed very well, so he deserves it.”
- Dan Robinson
Roofing Man of the Match: Ethan Wood
Next match: Whitley Bay (A), Tuesday April 4 2017. Kick-off: 7:30pm
Sam Smith's Park