Whitley Bay 1, Newton Aycliffe 4
By Bob Wood
Newton Aycliffe enjoyed a return to winning ways with an excellent performance at Whitley Bay last weekend.
The three points return from the trip to the seaside was fully deserved with Aycliffe putting recent disappointments behind them.
Right from the start Aycliffe took a positive approach to the game with the Bay defenders not being given any time to settle on the ball.
Aycliffe’s midfielder and forwards chased and harried for every ball trying to force mistakes from their opponents’ defence.
After 14 minutes Jordan Laidler had the first serious attempt with a free-kick from 30 yards which just crept over the bar.
Eight minutes later the first goal came. Martin Young won the ball in midfield, shrugging off a challenge and fired home from outside the box.
Just two minutes later Young got his second with another from similar range after once again charging through the Bay midfield.
Aycliffe’s relentless pressure continued and after 29 minutes Stuart Banks saw his shot from 20 yards denied by the crossbar.
After 38 minutes Paul Garthwaite scored Aycliffe’s third goal. The ball found Banks on the right who squared it to his skipper to finish.
Not surprisingly Whitley Bay made a change for the second half bringing on prolific goalscorer Paul Chow.
The game became more difficult for Aycliffe but chances still presented themselves. On 65 minutes Banks forced a double save from the Bay keeper.
Whitley Bay pulled a goal back after with twenty minutes left. With the entire Aycliffe team back to defend a corner their efforts proved unsuccessful. The ball fell to Robbie Bird who fired past James Winter in the Aycliffe goal.
For a brief moment Aycliffe fans began to worry but any fears were laid to rest just two minutes later when Banks took advantage of a fortuitous rebound to shoot home.
That settled the matter and Aycliffe were able to celebrate a league win for the first time in four games.
Saturday 28 February (home) – Billingham Synthonia 3:00pm
Tuesday 3 March (away) – Washington 7:30pm – League Cup Quarter Final
Saturday 7 March (home) – Durham City 3:00pm