Newton Aycliffe had a mixed bag of results over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The Newtonians cruised to a 3-0 win at home to Penrith on Saturday – but were narrowly beaten 2-1 at fifth-placed Marske United on Monday.
The Blues chalked up their first league win of the 2017-18 season with a convincing victory over Penrith at Moore Lane Park.
Aycliffe started well and went ahead in the seventh minute. Craig Hutchinson swung a good corner in, and a Penrith defender put the ball into his own net, under pressure from Andrew Grant-Soulsby.
Five minutes later they made it 2-0, when Hutchinson put Matty Pennal through the Penrith defensive line, and he finished one-on-one with the Penrith ‘keeper.
It only took another four minutes for them to go 3-0 up. Marc Costello put Hutchinson through near the goal line, and he pulled the ball back for Pennal to score.
Penrith made two changes at half-time in a bid to rescue the game, and they were slightly on top for the first 15 minutes, but without looking like scoring.
Aycliffe then also made substitutions, and with the fresh legs they got back on top, but they couldn’t make any further breakthroughs.
Aycliffe got off to a bad start away to Marske United on Monday, when they conceded after only five minutes.
Jack McLaren in the Aycliffe goal saved a low shot, but only managed to push the ball into the path of Earl, who appeared to get the last touch after a double rebound.
Marske got on top, and had a clear chance on 28 minutes, but put it past the post.
Aycliffe were hampered by injuries to Liam Browne and Matty Pennal, but both players kept playing.
Marske went further a minute before half-time, when they conceded a soft free kick on the edge of the box. Gott curled his shot around the wall for 2-0.
The home side nearly put the game out of reach in the first minute of the second half, but McLaren stood up well to save one-on-one with Earl.
Sean Tarling made a good run on 52 minutes, and brought out a good save from home keeper Dean.
Jack Oliver came on for Tarling near the hour, Aycliffe came into the game and had the better of the last 30 minutes.
On 65 minutes, Aaron Brown won the ball in midfield and got it to Stuart Banks, who fired it low into the corner of the net for 2-1.
They went to have a good spell and were unlucky not to get the equaliser, with Craig Hutchinson and Banks going close.
Aycliffe, 13th in the Northern League first division table, hope to record their second league win of the season at home to Team Northumbria on Saturday (3pm kick-off).