Newton Aycliffe 1, Seaham Red Star 1
By Dave Strickland
Newton Aycliffe were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Seaham Red Star, in a game where the result was vital for both teams.
Aycliffe started brightly and had a good shout for a penalty turned down on six minutes when a Seaham defender handled the ball.
Two minutes later, they had several shots blocked in an almighty scramble in the Seaham box, but eventually the visitors cleared their lines.
Then it was Aycliffe’s turn to have to scramble the ball away from their own penalty area, as Seaham came into the game.
Craig Hutchinson and Marc Costello then both had good efforts on goal, but neither troubled the Seaham keeper Harkess.
On 28 minutes, Seaham made the first breakthrough. Some good inter passing released centre forward McBryde and he flicked the ball over home keeper James Winter into the net.
The goal increased Seaham’s confidence and they went on to dominate the rest of the first half.
Aycliffe came out for the second half with renewed vigour, and their higher tempo switched the play back into their favour.
Ten minutes in, a good team move resulted in Kurt Matthews getting in a shot. It beat Harkess and was heading for the corner until Howe got back and cleared it off the line.
On 62 minutes the pressure told as Aycliffe equalised. The ball came to Thibault Charmey on the edge of the box, he flicked it up and volleyed it acrobatically into the top corner for a fantastic goal.
This boosted Aycliffe’s confidence and Seaham started to struggle. Aycliffe were well on top, but, as has often been the case this season they couldn’t turn possession into goals.
Aycliffe man-of-the-match Craig Hutchinson was very lively up front, but a winning goal never came, and they were forced to settle for a point.
Next up for Aycliffe is Whitley Bay at Moore Lane Park on Thursday (April 26, 7.30pm kick-off).