Newton Aycliffe 3, West Auckland 1 (after extra time)
Durham County Challenge Cup final, Hetton
Newton Aycliffe lifted the Durham County Cup for the first time in the club’s 50-year history with an entertaining victory over West Auckland in Hetton on Good Friday.
Stunning extra-time goals by Dennis Knight and skipper Paul Garthwaite ensured Aycliffe’s first piece of silverware since their second division title win five years ago.
But it was their first cup win in eight years – and the highest ranking trophy to go into the club’s Moore Lane cabinet.
Although Peter Dixon’s side needed an additional 30 minutes to see off West – now managed by former Boro striker Andy Campbell – the game, played in glorious Spring conditions at the Hetton Centre, was a one-sided affair for the majority of it.
But West took the lead after just five minutes when Mark Hudson’s shot was turned in by Darren Richardson.
Aycliffe edged the rest of the first half but were left frustrated as Matty Moffatt missed two good chances and John Campbell spurned a one-on-one.
But the Newtonians continued to boss the game after half-time and ex-West striker Campbell found the equaliser after 55 minutes.
Aycliffe were again left to rue missed opportunities as they couldn’t find the elusive second before the end of normal time.
But Knight edged them ahead four minutes into extra-time with a superb 20-yard free-kick.
Then Garthwaite added the third three minutes later after a surging run forward and a neat one-two with Moffatt before burying with his left foot.