By Glen Robertson
Newton Aycliffe look to climb off the bottom of the table as they face Billingham Town at Moore Lane Park on Saturday.
The Newtonians currently prop up the first division, after Wednesday’s game against Penrith was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, but can move off the foot of the table with a win over second-bottom Town.
Kris Hughes will make his long awaited return from a hamstring injury and, in an exclusive interview with the club’s award-winning matchday programme, the former Whitley Bay man believes the club need to get a win under their belts.
“It is massively important (to get the win),” he said.
“We don’t want to be linked with relegation. But there is still a long way to go and I think we just need to get a few points on the board and treat this season as one to stabilise ourselves in this league.”
Aycliffe also hope Tom Hinchley and John Close will be back available soon, due to a hamstring strain and broken nose respectively, but both are likely to sit out Saturday once more.
Danny Lambert missed the defeat to Benfield with a leg injury, and manager Allan Oliver will make a late decision on his fitness.
Martin Butterworth, David Winskill and Dan Lockwood could all make their home debuts in Aycliffe’s first home game in three weeks.
Billingham Town are above Allan Oliver’s side on goal difference in the table after also winning just the one game so far this season.
Their victory came at home to Guisborough last Saturday, where goals from Craig Norman, Nicky Martin, Glenn Butterworth and Darlington target Jamie Owens helped complete a 4-2 victory.
But in midweek they were back to the familiar feeling of losing, after succumbing 3-0 away to Spennymoor Town.
Town, who face fellow strugglers Dunston at home after their trip to the Sports Club, will view the next two games as a chance to move out of the relegation places.
But for Aycliffe it is a massive opportunity to get another three points and start moving away from the bottom of the table.
Despite it still being incredibly early in the season, the game already has a cup-final feel to it for both clubs.
To see if the Royal Blues can move off the bottom, get to Moore Lane Park on Saturday at 3pm.
Admission is £5 adults and £3 concessions. To read the full interview with Hughes, buy the official programme from inside the ground for £1.50.