There were mixed fortunes for Aycliffe Sports Club in the last fortnight.
Last weekend saw a return to winning ways in the league, with a hard fought 3-1 win over Gainforth Cross Keys. The result saw them leapfrog their opponents in the Wear Valley Sunday League 3rd Division with two or three games in hand around their rivals.
Gareth Boyes, who has shown excellent form of late, opened the scoring against The Cross Keys at Moore Lane Park on the quarter hour mark. Some poor defending led to an own goal on 25 minutes to see the away team claw their way back into the game but Chris Jones scored before the break to make it 2-1 to the home side. It took a goal from the in-form Connor Hughes who had just come off the bench to seal the victory and a vital win for the Sports Club.
This weekend, a depleted side short in numbers, saw the Club away to league leaders Willington Queens in the 3rd Division Cup. Cup form has been quite poor this season, with only one win in the early rounds of the county cup to show for. Playing on a 3G pitch, the game was played in high intensity. David Hall resumed his position in a back 3, with Sam McKerr pushing up into midfield and Anthony Campbell supported Connor Hughes up front. The first half ended goalless but the home side took the lead early in the 2nd half against the run of play. The Sports Club rallied and a wonder strike from Campbell got the Aycliffe side back into the game. This raised the away teams game and it wasn’t long before the hard working David Teder grabbed a second to make it 2-1. However a late strike which came through a crowded defence for the home side took the game to extra time.
The Sports Club remained on top, with both sides showing sides of tiredness. Darren Bossomworth, struggling with a calf injury, somehow managed to latch onto a through ball and slot home what looked to be a winner. Willington were awarded a dubious penalty, but for the second week running, Andy Hartley stood tall and saved the effort from the home side. However, another late strike saw the game go to penalties.
Paul Cook easily slotted home the first and Andy Hartley managed to keep out Willingtons first effort. Captain Craig Barrigan then missed the second and the home side equalised. Ryan Stonehouse powered his effort home, but Connor Hughes missed his and Willington Queens took the advantage. Tom Postle’s effort just managed to cross the line after hitting the underside of the bar and when the Home side missed their last penalty, the competition went to sudden death .
Anth Campbell gave the opposition keeper no chance at all but Mark Craggs tame effort was easily saved. Luckily Andy Hartley saved the day again to keep the Aycliffe side in the match, but Sam McKerrs poor effort, followed by the home sides final conversion saw the Sports Club crash out of the competition.
Next up is 2 away league games and hopefully a chance to climb up the league table.