Match Preview – Saturday 4th October 2014
NEWTON AYCLIFFE vs SHILDON AFC
The AuxAudio.co.uk Stadium. 3pm.
By Paul McGeary
Newton Aycliffe go into this local derby in search of a much-needed victory after two successive defeats have once again dragged them back towards the relegation places.
Standing in their way are local rivals – and pre-season title favourites – Shildon, who have a couple of ex-Newtonians, and a host of former football league stars amongst their Northern League galactic ranks.
Defender Darren Craddock and striker Ben Wood should both feature for the Railwaymen, as should captain Mark Hudson who played over 400 games for the likes of Rotherham and Chesterfield.
Striker Paul Connor, formerly with Swansea will be in contention, although the recent goalscoring form of Billy Greulich-Smith – himself, formerly with Hartlepool United – will give manager Gary Forrest a selection headache up front, with another former Pools man, Micky Rae knocking on the door.
Goalkeeper Kyle Hayes has joined from Spennymoor this week, while Carl Jones is back from injury and should partner Craddock in defence, freeing Daniel Moore to play in his favoured midfield berth.
Aycliffe will be buoyed by last week’s performance in narrowly going down 1-0 to Whitley Bay, with the recent signings of Richie Archer and Chris Dickinson adding much needed quality to their previously threadbare squad.
James Oliver is back from a self-imposed exile but defender Richie Langthorne will miss out as he sits out the third of his four game ban for violent conduct.
Tale of the tape
Key Man: Zak Boagey
One to Watch: Paul Connor
Familiar Faces: Darren Craddock, Ben Wood
Form Guide: Newton Aycliffe LLLWLL Shildon WDWLWW
Last Season: 1-1