Durham City 3, Newton Aycliffe 2
By Paul McGeary
Newton Aycliffe went down by the odd goal in five, but deserved something from the game as they outplayed hosts Durham City for the second period, having gone in 3-2 down at half-time on Saturday.
Boss Peter Dixon signed three more players before kick-off – bringing a total of seven new faces to the club in his first week – and defender Mark Stephenson made his debut alongside Dan Mitton at centre half.
Former Durham forward Conor Winter started up front, while ex-West Auckland midfielder Liam Henderson was named amongst the substitutes.
It was Durham who took the lead with their first attack on seven minutes, Johnny Allen heading home a left wing cross as Aycliffe failed to deal with the forward’s movement.
Four minutes later the visitors were back level as Stuart Banks scored his second goal in as many games, terrorising the defence before slotting home right-footed.
Johnny Davis could have restored Durham’s lead after a mix up between Mitton and ‘keeper Will Jones, but it was Aycliffe who went ahead on 17 minutes as new skipper Paul Garthwaite smashed home having been sent through by Zak Boagey.
A frantic opening quarter came to an end with Durham’s equaliser through former Sunderland and Darlington forward Ryan Noble, who again headed home unchallenged following a right-wing centre this time.
Both ‘keeper’s made good saves before the Citizens stole into the lead as Ryan Patton volleyed home from the right edge of the box following good work from Davis.
In the second period Banks twice went close as he looked to draw his side level and a Henderson free-kick was nodded just past the post by Winter.
Stephenson again tested Durham’s mettle in the dying minutes but his fine long-range effort was dealt with by the Durham custodian just as the ref drew proceedings to a close.
And so while Dixon appears to have got his new side back on the goal trail, his attentions must now turn to plugging a leaky defence which has conceded seven times in his two games in charge to date.
Aycliffe: Jones, Oliver (Langthorne), Clough, Mitton, Stephenson, Banks, Garthwaite(c), Archer, Young (Henderson), Winter, Boagey (Lowes). Unused: Storey, Atkinson.