Newton Aycliffe 1, Shildon 2
By Paul McGeary
With new boss Peter Dixon watching from the stands, his inherited Newton Aycliffe side failed to impress as Shildon produced a controlled performance to win 2-1 at the AuxAudio.co.uk stadium.
Caretaker manager Allan Oliver said after the game, “We showed plenty of endeavour, but lack that real quality throughout to get us competing with the top sides.
“Peter coming in will give us that opportunity to freshen things up, bring in a few new faces and help kick the club on, as we seem to have stagnated in recent times.”
‘Keeper Will Jones was a busy man in the opening 25 minutes, and despite being beaten twice by two Billy Gruelich-Smith headers, produced fine saves from Micky Rae, Ben Wood and Gruelich-Smith to keep the scoreline respectable.
Just three minutes were on the clock when the former Hartlepool United forward headed home a left wing centre and things could have been worse minutes later when the same player missed an identical opportunity, heading embarrassingly wide.
He wasn’t to be thwarted on 24 minutes however, and after Jones parried away an effort from Daniel Moore, the resultant cross was directed perfectly into the top corner by the 25-year-old.
Aycliffe’s one moment of quality came as half time approached when another former ‘Pools man, Zak Boagey, picked the ball up 25-yards from goal and sent a first time swerving shot low into the corner with Kyle Hayes well beaten.
Aycliffe could have been level in first half injury time but Hayes made a fantastic save at his near post to beat away a header from his former Spennymoor Town team mate Richie Archer, who is on loan from the Moors.
The second half was all one way traffic as Shildon looked to restore their lead but despite their dominance, chances remained at a premium. In fact it was Aycliffe who almost had the final say in the game as Martin Young again tested Hayes with a free-kick which the stopper tipped over.
And so Oliver reverts back to chairman after his search for a new manager brought him to former West Auckland steward Dixon, who will start his tenure off with a home game against Penrith on Wednesday evening.
Jones, Oliver, Oldfield, Clough, Mitton (c); Broom(Storey), Archer, M.Young, Hinchley(Upton); Boagey, Atkinson(Lowes).
Subs not used; Butterworth.