Billingham Synthonia 0, Newton Aycliffe 1
By Paul McGeary
Allan Oliver recorded his first win back in charge – albeit on an interim basis – as Aycliffe exorcised some demons to defeat Billingham Synthonia 1-0 at the Motif8 Stadium.
Defender Dan Mitton scored his first goal for the club in the sixth minute to seal the points, but an all too familiar story unfurled as the Blues missed a host of chances which would have made the game an easier spectacle to watch for on-looking Newtonians.
Aycliffe recalled Greg Upton to their starting XI, as Paul Broom missed out. Liam Clough was back in the squad and took his place on the bench as Mitton and Richard Langthorne were again paired at the back.
Martin Young swung a free kick into the back post area which was met by Mitton who headed back across goal and into the bottom corner of James Bell’s net to give the visitors the lead, and it could have been more had Tom Atkinson, Connor Lowes and Young all converted chances inside 12 minutes.
Synners almost levelled with their first opportunity when Mitton almost inadvertently headed Hughes’ left wing corner into his own goal half way through the opening period.
The game settled and as Aycliffe approached half time, many in the stands were wondering whether the Newtonians could see through their lead, something they have failed to do in recent weeks.
Indeed it would have been a more comfortable half time teamtalk for Oliver had Atkinson converted a gilt-edged chance on the stroke of the interval. Young’s through ball was well controlled by the top scorer but his finish left a lot to be desired as Bell saved comfortably.
Synners started the second half the brighter and young forward Jack Bradbury flashed an effort across goal while Mitton’s weak clearance fell to Hughes who blasted over from the edge of the area.
Aycliffe almost doubled their lead following a superb 20-pass move involving most of the team, resulting in Zak Boagey catching Bell of his line with a chip which skimmed the top of the bar as it narrowly missed.
Boagey could have sealed the points with 10 minutes remaining and having done the hard work in evading three challenges as he danced into the area, poked his effort wide of the post with just Bell in his way.
Will Jones produced a fine save in the 85th minute as Matty Osmond warmed his palms from 20-yards with the rebound falling to Nathan Porritt who could only curl his effort over the angle of post and bar.
Aycliffe: Jones, Storey, Oldfield, Mitton, Langthorne, Upton, M.Young, Hinchley, Lowes, Atkinson, Boagey.
Subs: Farley (GK), J.Young, Clough, Butterworth.