Newton Aycliffe 2, Shildon 2
By Dave Strickland
Newton Aycliffe nearly pulled off a derby win against local rivals Shildon at the Beaumont Landscapes stadium, Moore Lane.
The match finished 2-2, with Aycliffe conceding an equaliser deep into stoppage time.
The match was played in very hot conditions in front of a big Bank Holiday crowd of 315.
Aycliffe had a good chance on three minutes when they had a free kick just outside the box, but Dean Thexton put his shot just over the bar.
Liam McNamara then had a chance, but his header from a corner went straight to Shildon keeper Bancroft.
Shildon then had a chance through ex-Aycliffe player Ben Trotter, but Adam Pickford made a good save.
Aycliffe had a penalty shout turned down on 24 minutes when Johnson Ballan appeared to be tackled from behind.
Shildon fashioned a good move seven minutes later, which Atkinson finished off well to give the visitors the lead.
The Shildon striker immediately had another chance, but fluffed his header. Aycliffe rallied and had attempts on goal through Shaun Ryder and Thexton, but they failed to trouble Bancroft.
Aycliffe started the second half with an increased tempo, and were level when man-of-the match Shaun Ryder hit a direct free kick past Bancroft from 25 yards.
Five minutes later, they took the lead. Ryder released Matty Lowrie wide right and his cross was converted by Thexton.
Both sides kept working hard in the heat, but struggled to create any more real chances.
Aycliffe had the edge, but just when it looked like they would take the points, a long punt forward by Shildon into the Aycliffe penalty area led to an own goal by Liam McNamara, and the match ended 2-2.
Aycliffe’s next match is at home to Silsden in the FA Vase on Saturday (August 31, 3pm). They then travel to Stockton on Wednesday, September 4 (7.45pm).