Our panel of three football writers give their predictions on Newton Aycliffe’s game this weekend…
Three points are awarded if our ‘experts’ pick the exact score, 1 point awarded if they get the result correct.
All three experts went for a defeat to West last week, proving that they really do know nothing.
Glen Robertson – 9
Paul McGeary – 8
Martin Walker – 7
Looking to improve their fortunes this week, the panel run their eye over the trip to Shildon.
How can it possibly get harder than facing the FA Vase winners and runners-up? Well, travelling to Shildon. Don’t let their league position fool you. They’ve got games in hand on every team around them, have goals throughout the team and are my favourites to finish third. They’ll be looking to bounce back from the midweek defeat against Ashington, and we have only beaten them once in five attempts. We all know how good Ben Wood is, as well. I’d dearly love for a repeat of last year’s superb 4-1 victory, but I can’t see it happening. I do think it will be an open, exciting contest, just like both of our visits to Dean Street last season.
Shildon 3-2 Newton Aycliffe
This game throws up so many stories. We beat Shildon 4-1 here last season in the league in arguably our best performance of the campaign. That to date is our only victory in five against the Railwaymen however. We tend to do better against the bigger sides, as last week proved and we were on course for a creditable point with Dunston on Wednesday until Chris Swailes’ intervention. Mark Wood will get the chance to pit his wits against his brother Ben, who lines up for Shildon, who recently added Jamie Owens to their front line. He scored three in Billingham Town’s 8-0 victory at Moore Lane Park last month. All that said, I’m opting for a narrow Aycliffe victory, with Darren Craddock returning to the back line.
Shildon 0-1 Newton Aycliffe
Always a very difficult trip for any side going to Shildon, but we’re full of confidence and we do always seem to raise our game for the big derbies, so I’m feeling confident. Having said that, a win – mirroring last year’s win – would be outstanding. But, alas, it’d also be too big an ask. And that’s not just me sitting on the fence…
Shildon 1-1 Newton Aycliffe