Match Preview – Saturday 16th August, 2014
NEWTON AYCLIFFE versus GARFORTH TOWN
Moore Lane Park. 3pm kick off
The world famous FA Cup kicks off this weekend, less than three months after Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal lifted the trophy to secure their first piece of silverware in nine seasons.
A far cry from Wembley it may be, but Moore Lane Park will be full of the buzz and hysteria that surrounds the competition, as every Northern League side sets out with the same ambition of reaching the later stages of qualifying and like Marske United last season, perhaps drawing a money-spinning big name like Southport of the Conference.
Newton Aycliffe haven’t had the best of relationships with the competition, losing to lower league opponents Holker Old Boys in 2012, and after bypassing Darlington RA last season, falling at the next hurdle despite giving Spennymoor Town an almighty scare.
When the draw for this season’s competition was released, a new name was on the lips of the management and committee, as Garforth Town of the Northern Counties East League were paired with the Newtonians.
Famous names associated with the Yorkshire outfit include former Manchester United and England man Lee Sharpe, and Brazilian legend, the late Socrates. Yes, that’s right. Brazilian legend Socrates who represented his country at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.
Garforth won just once during pre-season, but in their opening two games of the league campaign, have recorded four points after a home victory over Parkgate and a creditable away draw at Retford United.
Last season Garforth comfortably finished in mid-table and the Miners sit fifth at this stage of the season, compared to Aycliffe who lie 11th in the Northern League following victory at Crook Town on Wednesday.
Tom Atkinson returned to the Newtonians starting XI in that game and took just seven minutes to notch his first goal of the season and will once more lead the line. Jake Johnson remained in goal despite the return of Andrew Spence while Liam Clough and Scott Oldfield slotted into defence to provide more stability to the makeshift back four that surrendered to West Auckland on the opening weekend.
Dion Raitt missed the game against his former club and is expected to return but Martin Young again misses out (holiday). Connor Lowes will be banging on the door after his goal at Crook while Paul Broom will be pushing for a recall after a blistering half hour from the bench.
Tale of the tape
Key Man: Tom Atkinson
One to Watch: Curtly Martin-Wyatt
Familiar Face: Jamie Sutton – played for Athersley Recreation vs NAFC (July 2013)
Form Guide: Newton Aycliffe LW Garforth Town WD
Last Season: N/A