Wheatsheaf 5, Aycliffe Sports Club 6
By Paul Eales
Aycliffe Sports Club edged a thrilling 11-goal contest when they went to Wheatsheaf on Sunday.
With only one more game after this fixture to go before the Christmas break, Aycliffe Sports Club needed a win against The Wheatsheaf to stay in the promotion places.
With 2 wins already this season against the opposition (8-2 in the home league fixture and 5-0 in an away cup tie), the away side went into this game full of confidence, albeit with a heavily depleted squad which saw Carl Little return to the heart of the defence, pushing Mark Craggs into centre midfield.
The game started brightly enough, with the Aycliffe team pressing from the off. A left foot shot from Tom Watson flew over the bar to give the hosts an early warning. However it was the home side that took the lead on 10 minutes from a corner which hit the post and somehow creeped over the line in a mud filled goalmouth. David Teder equalised for Aycliffe soon after with cool finish from a long goal kick from Ste Richardson, returning in goal for the first time in 5 games. The Sports Club then started to make their mark on a very heavy pitch, Tom Watson with another effort over the bar and Chris Jones with numerous chances that just failed to make the hosts pay aswell as a number of dubious offside calls from the referee. David Teder had a great chance to put the away side ahead with a one on one with the keeper but failed to find the back of the net.
On fifteen minutes it was another long ball over the top that found leading goalscorer Chris Jones who calmly slotted home to make it 1-2 to the visitors. Jones got his second soon after with some good link up play with partner Teder to make it 1-3 on the half hour mark. With the home side playing a high defensive line, numerous other chances went begging with a lot of offsides being called early by the referee, frustrating the Aycliffe side. The Sports Club were then pegged back when a freekick from the Wheatsheaf floated over the wall to go in off the post to make it 2-3 at half time.
The second half saw David Teder get his second of the game just five minutes after the re-start. Teder then turned provider for his strike partner ten minutes later lofting a ball over the top of the defenders for Jones to get his 2nd hatrick in as many games – bringing his total for the season to 24 in all competitions. However, the home side were not finished and another freekicick needlesly given away saw them snatch their third of the game to make it 3-5. A tackle from Matty Alder then led to an altercation that saw Alder receive a red card, even though it he was subjected to flying kick from the opposition who got away with just a yellow card, another bad decision from the young inexperienced referee. With the away side down to ten men, the battle was on and The Wheatsheaf saw their chance to get back in the game. A fourth goal quickly arrived, albeit another very dubious decision from the referee not to blow for the forward who was 4 yards offside. With only moments left the inevitable happened and the home side equalised.
However, the entertainment wasn’t to stop there. The resiliant Sports Club pushed for the winner and thought they had it as Jones powered his way through to slot the ball past the keeper. The side line cheered, the players cheered…only to find the ball had stuck in the mud and not crossed the line. The defenders quickly tried to clear, but the ball eventually fell to Teder who powered home the ball at the second attempt after first striking the post, completing his Hatrick. A dramatic end to the game, which was more often than not spoiled by the referee whose decisions and timekeeping left a lot to be desired.
Team: Ste Richardson, Adam Gittins, David Hall (Capt), Carl Little, , Jonathan Clegg, Mark Craggs, Ryan Stonehouse, Matty Alder, Tom Watson, Chris Jones (3), David Teder (3)
Subs Used: Connor Hughes, Jon Hughes
MoM: Mark Craggs