Glen Robertson previews Newton Aycliffe’s game at home to Celtic Nation this Saturday…
Newton Aycliffe hope to finally get a game on at Moore Lane Park this weekend, as Celtic Nation make the trip across the A66.
The Royal Blues can take another step towards safety if the game is cleared to go ahead, following Wednesday night’s postponement due to a waterlogged pitch – the third consecutive home match that has been unable to go ahead.
Two meeting with the Cumbrians has already been postponed this season – December’s cold snap saw the fixture at Moore Lane Park called off while the scheduled return trip in January was also called off – but Allan Oliver’s side will hope the game gets the green light so they can carry on their 100 per cent start to 2013.
Wins over Consett, Sunderland RCA and Hebburn have seen the Newtonians move 10 points clear of the relegation zone and can climb above Celtic Nation with a victory – although the Green-and-Whites have played nine games fewer.
The Carlisle-club made headlines in the summer with some eye-catching signings but a lot of the big names have left the club – former Hartlepool defender Paul Arnison has emigrated to Australia while fellow ex-Pools Adam Boyd is expected to be joining Spennymoor. Boyd reportedly turned down the chance of full-time football at Gateshead to join Celtic Nation in the summer, but his stay was a brief one.
But they remain a tough side to beat on their day. They have drawn with Spennymoor and beat West Auckland and Bedlington, but lost to Guisborough, Durham, Marske and Penrith.
Aycliffe are expected to be at full strength for the encounter, with skipper Sean Tarling back available and Stephen Gibson returning last weekend from his hamstring problem.
It will be the fifth meeting between the sides, though all four previous encounters came when Celtic Nation were known as Gillford Park. Each side has won one, while there have been two 2-2 draws.