Belper Town 3, Newton Aycliffe 4
By Ryan Livingston
Newton Aycliffe made the long trip to second placed Belper on Tuesday night, and with the league’s top scorer on their books, it was going to be no easy task for Brian Atkinson’s side.
Which made it all the more surprising when Aycliffe broke the deadlock within four minutes, Liam Adamson not only outpacing Belper’s Danny South, but gifting the ball to Kyle Davis, who fired a low shot in at close range.
The attack was so rapid, Belper’s keeper Johnathan Hedge could merely put his hands in the air to signal his frustration at his side’s lethargic defending.
It wasn’t the only time the Adamson and Davis combo lead to a goal, either. Adamson’s cross hit Belper’s Kieran Walker which ricocheted the ball to the feet of Davis, who then turned, positioned himself promptly and fired a wonderful curling shot straight into the top corner to make it 2-0 within 20 minutes.
Six minutes later, the deadly combo of Adamson and Davis haunted Belper again. Adamson completely outpacing Belper’s Anthony Mackie, and while his pass again ricocheted off a Belper defender, Davis found the ball and wasted no time in making it 3-0.
Belper still threatened despite their sluggish start, and when Alex Troke was felled in the box in the 31st minute, the referee gave a penalty that was converted by Mason Warren.
There is little better in football than observing a brilliant attacking partnership, which is exactly what the Aycliffe faithful were treated to when Davis sent a long pass to Adamson, which he sprinted straight down the pitch with, beating two defenders before speeding past Belper’s keeper to make it 4-1 to Aycliffe on the cusp of half time.
The second half was a scrappier affair, characterised by long periods of Belper possession amid frequent stoppages. Substitute Cameron Johnson scoring via a long range shot in the 55th minute
League top scorer Kevin Bastos was probably Belper’s most threatening player, and he got his goal in 68th minute, Danny South heading it from a corner, the ball fumbled about before finding the feet of Bastos who tapped in with ease to make it 3-4.
The closing minutes were to be an extremely tense affair, as Aycliffe soaked up attack and after attack from Belper, almost all involving long throw-ins and corners.
Nathan Fisher made a plethora of integral saves within this period of the game.
Aycliffe, who are now 14th in the Northern Premier League East, are at home to Grantham Town this Saturday.
• The above picture, by Yvonne Wood, shows Kyle Davis celebrating his hat-trick at Belper.