By Glen Robertson
Newton Aycliffe manager Allan Oliver has praised the work done by new club president and the town’s MP, Phil Wilson.
Wilson was given the title this past week and will be in attendance on Saturday as Aycliffe welcome Guisborough Town to Moore Lane Park in the Northern League first division.
Middlesbrough South and East MP Tom Blenkinsop, the Priorymen’s president, will also be present as the Newtonians host a corporate day at Newton Aycliffe Sports Club.
Oliver recognises the work Wilson has done for the club and hopes to be celebrating three points with him on Saturday evening.
Speaking to Aycliffe Today he said: “Phil’s done more than his bit. He’s been great for us and helps us promote our club.
“Every bit of help he gives us we’re grateful for and I hope he’s the happier of the two MPs at full-time! If he is I’ll buy him a pint.”
The fixtures between Aycliffe and Guisborough have regularly been classics down the years, but the outcome usually goes against the Newtonians. Before this season the clubs had met four times since Aycliffe returned to the Northern League, with two draws and two Guisborough victories.
But back in November, Aycliffe ended their Guisborough-hoodoo with a first win since joining the Northern League. Stuart Owen scored the only goal of the game and Aycliffe held on to take the three points thanks to some superb defending.
Aycliffe had on display arguably their best back-four, with Mark Peck outstanding at left-back alongside Darren Craddock, John Close and Steve Gibson.
Peck will, of course, be missing this weekend’s fixture as he continues to battle back from the burst artery he suffered in January, but the other three will be looking for another clean sheet.
While the defence has shone this season, the club have sometimes struggled to score goals. The club have netted just once in their last six games and the departures of Dale Jardine and Ben Wood in recent weeks haven’t helped. Despite this, Oliver remains confident in his squad and believes that the goals can flow against the Priorymen.
He said: “We still have a strong enough squad. We’ve lost a few players but we have a lot of quality still.
“We’re not conceding many goals this year, our goals against column is one of the best in the league, but it’s at the other end we’ve struggled. We haven’t been putting our chances away but Saturday will hopefully be different.
“If your team is creating chances and missing, that’s fair enough. I really worry when we don’t create anything and for the last few weeks we haven’t been creating.
“But on Saturday (against Whitley Bay) we created a lot of chances and we played with a freedom. We might have got nothing from it, but we’ve played worse than that this season and won and I hope we take that form into Saturday.”
The game kicks off at 3pm at Moore Lane Park, with admission £5 for adults and £3 concessions.