Newton Aycliffe 1, Holker Old Boys 1
FA Cup with Budweiser, extra preliminary round
By Martin Walker
Newton Aycliffe are still waiting for their first FA Cup victory after a frustrating 1-1 draw with Holker Old Boys.
In a dour encounter at Moore Lane Park, the Newtonians failed to convert a handful of late chances to finish off their visitors from the North-West Counties League.
Allan Oliver’s side will now have to go to Barrow on Tuesday night to replay the tie.
It looked like Aycliffe were about to live up to the high pre-match expectations when Paul Robinson put them into the lead after just two minutes.
But Conor Erdis equalised for Holker in the 50th minute, and despite pressuring their visitors late on, they couldn’t beat visiting goalkeeper Ross Liddicott a second time after he pulled off a number of fine saves.
Aycliffe raced into an early lead with a well-worked second-minute goal. Paul Broom won a free-kick mid-way into Holker’s half, Darren Craddock floated the set-piece into the box and Robinson dummied the ball before latching on to Gavin Barton’s cushioned header with a thumping shot to beat Liddicott at the near the post.
Holker’s first shot at goal came in the 24th minute. Craddock was penalised for a foul about 25 yards out, but goalkeeper Ste Richardson – deputising for the suspended Scott Pocklington – was well behind Stephen Forbes’ free-kick to gather safely.
Other than that it was a quiet first half, in terms of goalscoring chances, but Aycliffe probably just edged the half in terms of possession.
The home side almost repeated their start to the game in the opening exchanges of the second half and had the ball in the net, only to have it disallowed. Liddicott could only parry Sean Tarling’s driven shot from the edge of the area and Broom snaffled up the rebound, but was flagged off-side.
But it was Holker who grabbed the next goal when forward Erdis latched on to Stuart Owen’s weak back-pass and chipped the advancing Richardson from 25 yards.
Aycliffe went close to edging ahead when Holker failed to clear Owen’s 82nd-minute corner, but substitute Tom Hinchley’s hooked effort clipped the top of the crossbar and out to safety.
The Blues pressed again two minutes later when Barton did well to win a corner, and Holker thwarted the forward twice.
Aycliffe went close again in the 86th minute when Fred Woodhouse did well down the left but was blocked by Liddicott, before Hughes flashed the ball across the face of goal.
Liddicott denied Aycliffe again in the 89th minute with a superb save. Woodhouse broke down the left and pulled back for Wilson, but the midfielder’s first-time effort was acrobatically tipped over by the ‘keeper.
The frustrated home side continued to press and Guy Heffernan did well to clear off the line under pressure from Barton, but Aycliffe had to make do with a frustrating draw.
Aycliffe: Richardson, Oliver (Hinchley, 76), Owen, Peck, Craddock, Broom (Woodhouse, 62), Knox, Tarling (C), Robinson (Wilson, 62), Barton, Hughes.
Unused: Close, Campbell, Black, Farley.