The New Year started in the worst possible way for Newton Aycliffe, as they were on the end of a 5-1 thrashing as they travelled to Marske at the weekend.
New signing Liam Clough made his debut in the Royal Blues’ backline, but he and his colleagues were powerless to prevent another away defeat for Allan Oliver’s team.
It was a game that Aycliffe actually started very well. In the very first minute Tom Atkinson, who has been so deadly in front of goal recently wasted a great opportunity as he fired over following a searching through ball from Davies.
Shortly after, another chance for Aycliffe to take the lead, but Owens’ shot struck the outside of the post before going out for a goal kick.
The first half remained competitive. The referee kept himself involved, with a couple of Marske players finding their way into his notebook for hefty challenges.
On 35 minutes, Aycliffe finally took the lead their play deserved. New signing Clough stood a great ball up to the back post where it landed at the feet of Butterworth. The midfielder slotted home for his second goal in 2 games for Aycliffe.
Unfortunately, Aycliffe were unable to see the half out. Just a minute after taking the lead, Aycliffe found themselves back on level terms, with Martin Young turning a Macdonald cross past Spence to give Marske the equaliser.
Further chances came and went at both ends as the sides went in level at 1-1.
Few could foresee what was to happen in the second period!
With just 49 minutes on the clock, Marske went ahead. A powerful run from Butterworth ended with Craig Gott beating Spence with a cool finish.
On 56, the same combination effectively put the game beyond Aycliffe. Again Butterworth was the provider, playing in Gott whose initial shot beat Spence but rebounded off the post, only to fall straight to Gott who made no mistake.
After 76 minutes, Jordan Marshall marked his Marske debut with a goal, finishing a great move after an outstanding run from Macdonald.
Marske wasted further chances to extend their lead, Gott coming close to his third with Macdonald also seeing a good chance headed wide.
However in added time, Gott did grab the match ball, completing his hat trick with a great solo effort.
Fortunately for Aycliffe, they won’t have long to fester on this result. Wednesday evening sees the Royal Blues return to action, as they make the trip to Crook to play the rearranged game which was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch in the autumn.
Following the Crook game, Aycliffe will have 2 home games against South West Durham clubs. Next Saturday (18th) sees Crook the visitors to Moore Lane Park, before high flying West Auckland, who visit on Wed 29th.
The Crook game will kick off at 3pm, with the West Auckland game being a 7.30 start. For both games admission is £6 for adults, £4 concessions, with u12s going free.