Newcastle Benfield: Five things to know

Some key info about our opponents on Saturday….

On Saturday, Harriers will head to Tyne and Wear to face Newcastle Benfield in the Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round.

This match is the first ever meeting between the two sides, and will be a 3:00pm kick off.

As this will be our first trip to Benfield, we’ve been discovering what we can about our latest FA Cup opposition.

Here are five key things that you need to know about Newcastle Benfield.


The Lions currently sit in 14th position in the league, having won three of their nine league games so far this season. However, they are in great form in the cups having progressed through four rounds of the Emirates FA Cup to set up their match against Harriers. They entered this year’s competition at the Extra Preliminary Round stage, and have so far beaten West Allotment 1-0; Goole AFC 2-1 in the Preliminary Round, Whitley Bay 2-0 in the First Qualifying Round and Ashton United 2-1 in the Second Qualifying Round.

Benfield’s most recent match was on Saturday 23rd September and ended with a 3-1 away victory at Hebburn Town in the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round.


Nicknamed ‘The Lions’, they play at Sam Smith’s Park in Walkergate, which is an area of Newcastle Upon Tyne. The ground has a capacity of 2,000 and is located less than four miles away from St. James’ Park, home of Premier League neighbours Newcastle United.

On the pitch, they play in the Northern League Divison One, a league that is three tiers below the National League North in the non league pyramid, and the same level on the pyramid as our opponents in the previous qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup, Deeping Rangers.


Newcastle Benfield were founded in 1988 as Brunswick Village FC and began playing in the Northern Alliance Division Two. After one year of existance, their name was changed to Heaton Corner House FC, and they won promotion in the same season.

The club then changed their name to Benfield Park in 1990 and moved into their current home, Sam Smith’s Park, in the same year. In 1999 Benfield Park merged with North Shields side St. Columbas and changed their name to Newcastle Benfield Saints. They changed their name again in 2005, this time to Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics. For the 2007–08 season Bay Plastics was dropped from the team’s title and for that season they were known simply as Newcastle Benfield BP. The Lions are currently known as Newcastle Benfield.


Currently in charge at Sam Smith’s Park is player-manager Mark Convery, who was appointed in November 2015. 36 year-old Covenry played most of his football in the north-east, playing for the likes of York City and Darlington in the early to mid 2000’s.

Convery guided his side to an 18th placed finish in his first season, then finished 10th in the 2016/17 season.


Paul Brayson is a key man for The Lions, and began his career with Newcastle United in 1998 before a £100,000 transfer to Reading. More recently, Brayson has played for Newcastle Blue Star, Blyth Spartans and Harrogate Town before signing for Newcastle Benfield. Despite now being 40 years-old, the striker is a crucial part of The Lions’ attack and has been consistently prolific in front of goal for a number of years. He has scored a total of over 100 goals in the previous three seasons, and has ten to his name this season.

Brayson’s partner in crime up front Mark Doninger is another dangerman to watch our for and is their second highest scorer of the season. He has five goals to his name so far.


This article is about: Match


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