West Auckland 1, Newton Aycliffe 0
By Dave Strickland
Newton Aycliffe lost 1-0 away to West Auckland in the League Cup during the week.
This year’s competition starts with a league system, so Aycliffe still have three games to play in their group, with games against Northallerton, Easington Colliery and Redcar Athletic to come.
West had a good chance on three minutes when Mitchell had a free kick in a central position, but hit his shot straight at Adam Pickford in the Aycliffe goal. Dean Thexton got his shot away on 10 minutes but he too hit it straight at the keeper.
Aycliffe had to make an early substitution when centre half Liam McNamara had to go off injured; Nick Green came on to replace him. Aycliffe built a fine team move on 24 minutes and when Ethan Wood put in a good cross, Matty Pennal was denied by a last-ditch tackle.
West were awarded a penalty with half an hour gone. Pickford was decreed to have impeded Dowson; he made amends by producing a fantastic double save – low down to his right from Greenwood’s spot kick and then from Purewal’s follow up.
Aycliffe had a big chance four minutes before half time. With West keeper Flynn stranded, Matty Pennal placed his lob over Flynn but wide of the far post.
Aycliffe had to make another enforced substitution on 43 minutes when Pennal was carried off following a poor tackle, with Gez Richardson taking his place.
The second half continued in a similar vein, with the sides trading shots without troubling the keepers.
West made the breakthrough on 52 minutes when ex-Aycliffe player Dan Mitton headed in a corner.
The next big chance didn’t come until the 76th minute, when man-of-the-match Ethan Wood went on a mazy run and crossed to Richardson who narrowly missed the target.
Richardson then had another chance, but hit his shot straight at Flynn. Aycliffe brought on Shaun Ryder for Alex Barnes with eight minutes to go, as they went for an equaliser.
However, there were no more chances for either side and West took the win.
Aycliffe’s next match is away to Jarrow in the FA Vase on Saturday (September 14, 3pm).