By Bob Wood
The first two games of Newton Aycliffe FC’s pre-season campaign saw plenty of goalmouth action at the newly renamed Beaumont Landscapes Stadium.
Craig Hignett brought a strong Hartlepool United squad to Moore Lane on July 9, with more than 500 fans witnessing an entertaining game with Pools scoring seven.
The National League side had already scored ten in two previous games against Northern League opposition and the four league difference told.
However, Aycliffe fans saw plenty to encourage them for the new season with Hartlepool not scoring their first goal until 29 minutes.
They were 3-0 up by half-time and scored their last two goals on 89 and 90+3 minutes.
It was tremendous to see so many people in the ground and a credit to Hartlepool and their management that they look to play pre-season games against lower league opposition.
Aycliffe returned to action on Saturday July 13, playing a 3-3 home draw against Wearside League side Darlington Town.
The home side started well, missing several chances, but then some sloppy play saw them 3-0 down at half time.
A second-half revival saw Aycliffe score three to make honours even at full time.
Newton Aycliffe will welcome a Catterick Garrison side on Saturday (July 20< for a 2pm kick off. This will be followed by our first game against Northern League opposition when Easington Colliery will be the visitors on Wednesday July 24 (7.30pm).
The Ebac Northern League season starts on Saturday August 3, when resurgent Whickham visit Moore Lane (kick off 3pm), followed by a trip to Northallerton Town on Wednesday August 7.
In one of those twists that only an FA draw can produce Aycliffe will welcome Northallerton to The Beaumont Landscapes Stadium at Moore Lane on Saturday August 10, when the Emirates FA Cup gets under way with the extra preliminary round.