Newton Aycliffe 2-3 Norton & Stockton Ancients
By Paul McGeary
They say bad luck comes in threes, and Allan Oliver will feel no different as his third game back in temporary charge of Newton Aycliffe ended in a third defeat, which also saw the Newtonians crash out of their third cup competition already this season.
Having already crashed to lower league opponents in the FA Vase, the Royal Blues were wary of their visitors Norton, who had lost only once previously, which sees them as serious challengers for promotion back to the top flight.
If the truth be known, Aycliffe – not for the first time this season – should have been out of sight before their opponents took the lead, and again it was on the stroke of half time, an all too familiar occurrence in what has been a horrid start to the campaign.
Former Blues winger Harrison Davies returned to the AuxAudio.co.uk stadium to haunt the side he left in the summer, as his pinpoint cross found Marcus Laing who steered home.
In the second period Aycliffe looked to have turned the game in their favour with two quick goals. Top scorer Tom Atkinson atoned for a series of first half misses before Connor Lowes fired Oliver’s side ahead after good work from Zak Boagey.
If conceding goals before half time is an all too familiar happening, then conceding them in the final quarter of games will also be a cause for concern.
71 minutes were on the clock when Nicky Martin picked up on a parry from ‘keeper Will Jones to equalise before Tom Bligh sealed his sides place in the next round with a wonderful strike from 25-yards with just seven minutes remaining.
Aycliffe: Jones, Storey, Oldfield, Mitton, Langthorne, Broom, M.Young, Hinchley, Lowes, Atkinson, Boagey.
Subs: Farley (GK), J.Young, Upton.