Shildon 1, Newton Aycliffe 2
Newton Aycliffe’s in-form Northern League club continued their excellent recent run with a derby win at second-placed Shildon on Saturday.
The victory – Aycliffe’s fifth consecutive league win and seventh in all competitions – lifted the Newtonians up to fifth in the first division.
Peter Dixon’s side could climb up to second in the table if they win their games in hand.
And Aycliffe are also in the last 64 of the FA Vase in what is turning out to be an impressive campaign so far.
Unbeaten in the league since 5th September, Aycliffe stretched that run to 10 games thanks to second-half goals by Zak Boagey and John Campbell, after going behind in the first half.
The game was played on a heavy pitch with Shildon doing well to get the game on after our recent spell of wet weather.
The first half was hard work for Aycliffe, not helped by losing Dennis Knight to a hamstring injury after just 12 minutes.
Shildon had the best of the chances during the first 45 including hitting the crossbar after 37 minutes.
They took the lead a few minutes before half-time. Shildon cleared an Aycliffe corner with Connor running onto a flicked header and finishing well, giving James Winter no chance.
Within a minute the home side might have a second but missed a free header in front of goal.
The second half saw a transformation in Aycliffe’s fortunes and the improved performance put Shildon under pressure.
With the hour approaching Stuart Banks made an excellent run into the box and crossed to Boagey whose low shot found the net.
Aycliffe pressed on and with 20 minutes remaining a Campbell shot was tipped round the post for a corner. Campbell took the corner himself and his curling cross found its way into the net with a hint of wind assistance.
From there Aycliffe dug in to take the valuable three points.
Aycliffe now have a run of six consecutive home games starting with West Allotment Celtic on Saturday (5th December).
That will be followed by a big game in the FA Vase against Atherton Collieries of the North West Counties League.
Aycliffe are now in the last 64 of the Vase and looking to continue the good run.
Sat 5th Dec: West Allotment Celtic (H) 3pm
Sat 12th Dec: Atherton Collieries (H) FA Vase R3, 3pm
Sat 19th Dec: North Shields (H) 3pm
Sat 26th Dec: Bishop Auckland (H)