By Gary Beacom
The weekly round-up from Newton Aycliffe FC’s juniors section…
Aycliffe U8s Blacks hosted an excellent Whinney Banks side which proved to be a very tough game. Despite the quality of the opposition Aycliffe never gave up and battled their way throughout the match.
Aycliffe were rewarded for their hard work and determination in the second half with Regan grabbing a consolation goal, much to the delight of the whole team. It was a really hard day’s work for Aycliffe today.
Aycliffe U9 Blacks played Washington Athletic Puma. In a tight first half with little between the team, Max gave Aycliffe the lead. A great scrambled save by Jake just before half time and some strong defending kept them ahead. Aycliffe took charge and dominated the game till the end.
Aycliffe U9 Juniors played away at FC Hartlepool. A tight game throughout with nothing really between the two teams with both sets of defenders playing really well but Aycliffe went behind at half time. Early in the 2nd half Hartlepool capitalised on an error to put another one away. Aycliffe kept going and some great link up play between the two midfielders created an opening which Dom converted. Both teams had further chances but no one could convert.
Aycliffe U11s were at home against Boro Rangers Blues. This was Aycliffe’s second league match and first home game. Aycliffe started a little on the back foot and it was Rangers who took the lead, however, Aycliffe soon started playing their game and had several great chances to equalise. A great move starting with Logan, who had an excellent game, playing the ball out to Jamie who took it around the Rangers’ player and passed it up to Liam, whose quick pass to Callum set up JJ who slotted it away just before half time. Aycliffe pressed higher up the pitch in the second half, Callum then put Aycliffe into the lead after great work and determination from Alex. Aycliffe scored another from Thomas with JJ then getting his second. Somehow Rangers scored twice from nothing after Aycliffe could not clear the ball quick enough from their box.
Aycliffe U12s White started their league campaign away to Greatham. With no substitutes an hour of football was always going to be tough. Aycliffe were 2-1 down at half time and a draw looked a likely result as Aycliffe were reduced to seven men in the second half because of injuries. With limited numbers they were forced to heavily defend in their own half. Aycliffe did well to limit the score to a 4-1 loss.
Aycliffe U12s Blacks (pictured top) were at home against Forest Hall Predators. The game started off scrappy with both teams finding it hard to keep possession, a mistake from Predators’ goalkeeper allowed Alex to run through and score. Predators came back pretty quick with a ball down the line and scored. Aycliffe managed to break and Joe scored from a deflection off Predators’ player. In the second half Aycliffe had an early corner and their defender Lewis managed to blast it inside the net. Aycliffe found their footing and started moving very well and playing nice balls which allowed Keaton to get a good ball in to the box from which Joe scored. Predators’ goalkeeper made another error with a miskick which allowed Keaton to pounce on it and score a cracking goal. The match ended 5-1 to Aycliffe.
Aycliffe U14s started their season with a home game against Billingham United. After a great pre-season, the lads started well and raced into a 2 goal lead, before the opposition fought back to make it 2-2. Aycliffe went ahead with a goal just before half time to make it 3-2 which gave Aycliffe the confidence to go on and claim all 3 points. A brilliant second half display ended up with Aycliffe winning 10-3. Goals came from Travis 5, Thomas A 2, Alex 2 and Reece giving them a very impressive win.
Aycliffe U15s travelled to South Shields to face Harton and Westoe in their 3rd game of the season. Again with only 11 players available, the team set up in an attacking 3-4-3 formation. Despite having a lot of the ball and working the Harton keeper early in the game, a quickly taken free kick caught Aycliffe cold, with a good finish making it 1-0. Harton quickly doubled their lead following a long ball over the Aycliffe defence.. Aycliffe started the second half well and another corner saw a header blocked by a hand, Anthony stepping up to smash home the resulting penalty to equalise. Capitalising on being well on top, a quick passing move saw Bo play a good ball into Alex, whose back heel was timed well, allowing Charlie to beat his man and smash home into the bottom corner for a 3-2 lead to Aycliffe. Harton, however, came back into the game as Aycliffe just could not hang on, 4 goals in the final 10 minutes dropping Aycliffe to an undeserved 6-3 defeat.
Aycliffe U16s travelled to Thornaby Town FC for their first game of the season since getting promoted. The hard work in pre-season was clear to see as Aycliffe outplayed their hosts. The passing and wing play worked on in the past few weeks paid dividends and Aycliffe went in half time 3-1 up. Fantastic team play saw Aycliffe take a 5-1 lead with 10 minutes left. What happened next in a mysterious period of 6 minutes of added time must not happen again Aycliffe completely switched off and conceded 3 goals, 2 being in the last 2 minutes of added time, resulting in a very nervous last minute.