Ashington 1, Newton Aycliffe 1
By Bob Wood
Newton Aycliffe retained top spot in the Ebac Northern League in a top-of-the-table draw with Ashington in front of 941 spectators at Woodhorn Lane.
The first half was a tight affair but neither side was able to make the breathrough until just before half-time.
Ashington were awarded a free-kick near the half-way line. A long ball forward was not cleared by the Aycliffe defence and Ben Harmison was on hand to poke the ball home.
The second half saw a much stronger display from the visitors who kept the pressure on the Colliers.
The equaliser came in the 66th minute thanks to a Liam Jarvie penalty. The spot kick had been awarded following a hand ball on the goal line which saw the Ashington defender red carded.
Aycliffe thought they’d taken the lead eight minutes later but Jack Naylor’s effort was ruled offside.
The numbers were levelled up with less than 10 minutes left of the game when Ethan Wood saw his second yellow card of the afternoon.
The final whistle brought a point each with Aycliffe retaining top spot with five games left to play.
They play their final two home games on Saturday, April 1 (Sunderland RCA) and Tuesday, April 4 (West Allotment Celtic).
We’re hoping that the town gets behind Brian Atkinson’s team for these two games as Aycliffe chase promotion.
The top team is automatically promoted to the Northern Premier League (East Division) with second place playing off against a team in the higher division.
This is the highest a Newton Aycliffe team has ever been in the National League System.
Admission at the SecuriCorp Stadium, Moore Lane, is £7 adults, £5 concessions with accompanied under 12s free.
The above picture, by Yvonne Wood, shows Liam Jarvie scoring from the penalty spot at Ashington.