Huntsman 2, Aycliffe Sports Club 3
By Paul Eales
Derby Day came a week early in Newton Aycliffe as the Sports Club took the short trip to Simpasture Park to play local rivals The Huntsman.
With just three games to go, the away side knew that a win would see them safely promoted in their first season in the Wear Valley Sunday League and all but finish any hopes The Huntsman had of doing the same.
With the bragging rights up for grabs it was the home side who started the brightest and took control from the off.
It wasn’t until the 25th minute that the deadlock was broken and it was the hosts who took advantage when Ollie Gell lobbed Sports Club Keeper Andy Hartley from 25 yards.
However, the lead was short-lived as it took just 5 minutes for The Sports Club to equalise, Jonathan Clegg storming through the defence and getting the ball to Chris Jones who slotted home to make it 1-1 going into the break.
The Sports Club started the second half brightly when a corner from Anth Campbell found the head of Chris Jones to make it 2-1 just five minutes after the break.
However, the depleted team, short on numbers, showed signs of tiredness in the 2nd half and The Huntsman began to dominate piling pressure on the away side.
On the hour mark they got their reward when the Sports Club defence failed to clear the ball and a low cross found its way into the box for Shaun Sproates to smash home the equaliser.
With the pressure mounting, it looked like The Huntsman would go on to take all three points, but couldn’t make their dominance count failing to hit the target a number of times.
With less than ten minutes on the clock remaining a long ball over the top found Chris Jones who outpaced the home sides centre half, before bearing down on goal and slotting home the winner and completing his hatrick.
With four teams going up from the 3rd Division, this win secured Newton Aycliffe Sports Club a place in Division 2 for the 2015-16 campaign.
And with two games left to play, the runners-up spot is what the Sports Club will be aiming for with Darlington Rolling Mills looking favourites to secure top spot, but all still up for grabs.
Newton Aycliffe Sports Club would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors for this season, which includes Eddie Hall Installations, Amazing Results Estate Agents and PEC packaging.
They would also like to thank Glenda Hall and PFP Wealth Management and not forgetting the Committee members and Sports Sections at Aycliffe Sports Club for all the help and support during their second season which has brought successful back-to-back promotion campaigns.
Team: Andy Hartley, Craig Hannant, Darren Griffiths, Mark Craggs, Jonathan Clegg, Paul Cook, Sam McKerr, Anthony Campbell, Gareth Boyes, Chris Jones, Darren Bosomworth. Subs (Unused): David Hall.