Sunderland RCA 1, Newton Aycliffe 2
By Bob Wood
Newton Aycliffe climbed up to fourth in the Ebac Northern League first division with back-to-back wins in a week.
After a 4-1 midweek win over Norton & Stockton Ancients last week, the Newtonians travelled to Sunderland RCA on Saturday.
In a match at times played in a hailstorm Aycliffe ran out 2-1 winners thanks to a brace from John Campbell.
The first half was goalless with the visitors having the better of the play but failing to turn the advantage into goals.
Illness and injury forced manager Peter Dixon to shuffle his team with Dennis Knight finding himself at left back while Neil Pattinson moved to the centre of defence. Both had outstanding games in their unfamiliar roles.
Knight and Zak Boagey both saw shots go close in the first half but didn’t require a save from the RCA keeper.
The traffic was certainly not all one way with Aycliffe keeper James Winter forced into action with a good save in the first fifteen minutes.
Winter was called on again shortly after the second half got under way stopping a shot from outside the box.
Within a minute Aycliffe took the lead. A miss-kick by the home keeper gifted the ball to Campbell who fired home comfortably.
RCA fought back and Aycliffe’s defenders were fortunate to scramble away a corner.
They equalised on 68 minutes with Aycliffe losing the ball in midfield. It was played forward to Larkin who slotted a shot past the keeper.
Within five minutes Aycliffe had restored the lead with Campbell netting his second from close range, connecting with a ball across the box. The last 15 minutes were end-to-end but Aycliffe hung on to their lead and Campbell came close to a hat-trick in the closing minutes. A long ball from defence found the forward on the half way line. He ran on to the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a shot which just cleared the crossbar.
Aycliffe now face three consecutive home games in the space of seven days, with a special three-match ticket being made available for all games against Guisborough (Saturday), Seaham (Tuesday) and Dunston (Saturday), costing £15 adults and £10 concessions.