Newton Aycliffe’s Northern League football club will host a high-profile pre-season friendly against Darlington next week.
The game, on Wednesday July 17 (7.30pm), will be the first meeting between the sides since Aycliffe beat Darlo in December 2012 – ironically the last time Martin Gray’s side lost a game as they marched to the Championship and promotion to the EvoStick League.
Admission for the game at Moore Lane Park is priced £6 adults and £3 concessions, with gate receipts to be split 50:50 between the two sides.
Despite two previous pre-season friendlies with Darlo that attracted huge crowds, it’s the first time Aycliffe have been asked to split their match proceeds.
But the club’s chairman, Gary Farley, said: “As with a lot of their opponents, Darlington have requested that we split the gate receipts, and we were only too happy to accommodate this wish.
“This is another chance for the people of the town to witness the professionalism of Darlington and enjoy what should be a great occasion for our football club.
“We are thankful to Darlington for bringing a team to Moore Lane, as they have done in the past, when we have had crowds of 1,300 and 800, which is remarkable for a friendly.
“Hopefully we will have another large turnout and both clubs can receive a financial boost going into their respective league campaigns.
“We have always had good relations with Darlington, their officials and their supporters and we hope to maintain this relationship as the Quakers rebuild and hopefully get back into the Football League where they belong.”
With a large crowd anticipated once more, spectators are advised to arrive earlier than usual and consider the local community when parking their cars in the proximity of the ground.