By Ryan Burton
Newton Aycliffe FC boss Peter Dixon has warned his team to expect a reaction from Marske United on Saturday.
Aycliffe take on the Marske in the league after playing them in the league cup on Tuesday night.
They recorded a resounding 4-1 victory, which knocked the Teessiders out of the competition that they won last season.
Dixon was quick to admit that he didn’t see the result coming.
“They would’ve expected to turn up and turn us over,” he said.
“Marske are a top quality side, a top four team in our division and they’ve been flying.
“It was a good morale booster to get the victory.”
Aycliffe are now into the quarter-finals of the league cup, a competition the team has not seen much success in recent years.
“We were able to play without any pressure because we’re not expected to win that cup,” said Dixon.
“The cup is not my priority but it keeps our season going on two fronts, one is the cup and the other is the relegation fight.”
Having rested a number of key players and giving starts to some fringe players, the result was a surprise to many.
However, Dixon is expecting a different game on Saturday.
Marske United sit fourth in the table, six points behind leaders North Shields but with two games in hand.
In contrast, Aycliffe lie in 17th position but have won three of their last four league fixtures.
“They’re at home and they’ll be a wounded animal. I’m expecting Marske to have a reaction to that defeat.
“We’ve got to put the kind of commitment and desire we showed on Tuesday into Saturday’s game.”
Dixon has refused to get carried away with Tuesday’s result and kept his side’s feet firmly on the ground.
“It’s a massive ask to go and get something from down there.
“Marske away wasn’t somewhere we were expected to get any points from.
“So we’ll go there and give it our best shot. In a nutshell, we’re going there as underdogs. If we get anything from there, it’s a bonus.”
Dixon has praised his side’s recent efforts as they continue to battle against the drop.
He added: “I’ve been pleased with the application on the boys. I’ve been delighted with the attitude.
“They’re a refreshing bunch of lads to deal with.
“It’s made the last few weeks enjoyable. Long may it continue.”
Sat 24th Jan: Marske Utd (A) 3pm
Sat 31st Jan: Sunderland RCA (H) 3pm
Sat 7th Feb: Penrith (A) 3pm
Sat 14th Feb: Celtic Nation (H) 3pm