Stockton Town 2, Newton Aycliffe 2
By Dave Strickland
Newton Aycliffe travelled to Stockton Town and earned a respectable 2-2 draw after being 2-0 down with 20 minutes to go.
Stockton went into the game on a six-game winning streak, but Aycliffe matched them for long periods and fully deserved the draw.
Stockton started brightly and got three shots away in the first five minutes, but Aycliffe keeper Adam Pickford was equal to them.
Aycliffe then had a good chance when Marc Costello nodded down a free kick, and Kurt Matthews hit a good volley just over the bar.
Stockton came straight back and Pickford made a great save, pushing a Craggs free kick onto the bar and out. Aycliffe then put together a great move resulting in Jermaine Metz putting a cross into the six-yard box, with the Stockton defence just managing to get the ball away.
Stockton then had a couple of half chances before they took the lead on 41 minutes. They broke away quickly and a low cross from the right was turned in by Mulligan.
Metz then put another great cross into the danger area, but again the Stockton defence cleared under pressure. Roberts had a clear-cut chance for Stockton right on half time, but he volleyed well over the bar.
Aycliffe suffered a blow four minutes into the second half, when Marc Costello was carried off on a stretcher.
Aycliffe had a good spell near the hour mark, with Matthews having a good shot blocked and Arron Brown heading against the bar.
But it was Stockton who got the next goal when Nicholson headed in a corner for 2-0.
Aycliffe kept playing their football and a spell of pressure was rewarded when Kurt Matthews turned in a loose ball, with Kevin Carr getting the assist.
Aycliffe kept pushing, and in the 88th minute Warren Byrne brought a good save from Moody in the Stockton goal.
But Aycliffe drew level a minute later when Carr put in a great cross and Aaron Brown headed home.
Aycliffe’s next game is at home to Sunderland RCA on Tuesday night (7.30pm) followed by a home game against Ashington on Saturday, March 2 (3pm).