By Paul McGeary
Newton Aycliffe signed off their travels for the season by limping to a 4-2 defeat at West Auckland Town.
Allan Oliver’s men now face seven home games in the next three weeks, in a bid to stave off relegation to ensure that trips to Darlington Road are still on the league calendar next season.
Prolific marksman Mattie Moffat eased himself to a hat-trick, with former Darlington man John Campbell weighing in with the goal of the game.
Newtonians’ top scorer Danny Earl got a brace for the visitors, his 18th and 19th goals of an otherwise forgetful season for the Royal Blues.
Moffat’s acrobatics had the hosts in front after only five minutes when he found space at the back post to volley home Campbell’s right wing cross.
The same man robbed Stuart Owen on the corner of the box minutes later before rifling past understudy goalkeeper Stephen Richardson to double the advantage.
Josh Knox and Tom Hinchley had half chances for the visitors but Campbell put the game beyond doubt on 36 minutes when he capitalised on a mix-up between Richardson and Stephen Gibson to cutely chip into the empty net.
Earl gave Aycliffe a lifeline when he firsd home just before half time but any hope of a rousing comeback was extinguished when Moffat headed home his third just after the restart.
Earl once more reduced the deficit following some good work from Hinchley but West saw the game out to leapfrog Spennymoor back into second spot, with Aycliffe hoping those around them at the bottom keep losing in order to give them a lifeline.
Aycliffe: Richardson, Gibson, Owen, Hinchley, Craddock, Close, Broom, Knox, Earl, Young, Woodhouse. Subs used: Lambert, Reay. Subs not used: Oliver, Mellanby.