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Website last updated: 5 Mar, 2014 @ 05:31
Wed 05 Oct 2011
Star player: Phil Gray
Dale Jardine (1)
Elliot Gardner (1)
Glen Robson (2)
Newton Aycliffe picked up their first victory on the road in the first division, and in some style. The Newtonians thrashed local rivals Shildon 4-1 at Dean Street to remain in fifth-place in the table.
A goal each from Dale Jardine and the returning Elliot Gardner book-ended Glen Robson’s brace as Aycliffe made up for last month’s FA Vase defeat at the same ground in emphatic fashion.
Former Aycliffe striker Warren Byrne grabbed a consolation for the home-side, but by then the Railwaymen had been blown away by a rampant Aycliffe side, eager to make up for Saturday’s defeat away to Marske.
At a blustery Dean Street, the game got off to a frantic start but – aside from Sean Tarling clearing Leon Scott’s header off the line – there was little quality in the final third and neither ‘keeper was seriously tested in the first 20 minutes.
But Aycliffe clinically took the lead from their first real chance on 21-minutes. Gardner intercepted a loose pass deep in Shildon territory and released Ben Wood on the right-hand side. The 19-year-old evaded his marker and sent in a lovely cross for Jardine, who made no mistake to net his third goal for the club.
In the process of creating the goal, Wood fell awkwardly on his arm. He struggled on for 15-minutes but was eventually forced off. It was one of three arm injuries suffered by the away side in the first-half, with Tarling and Gardner also requiring physio attention.
Shildon briefly threatened an equaliser, with Scott seeing his effort from the edge of the area deflected wide for a corner, from which Pocklington had to parry Richard Paxton’s header.
As the game edged towards the interval, Aycliffe doubled their lead. This time it was Jardine’s turn to play creator and his right-wing cross was expertly headed home by substitute Robson.
It had been a brilliant response from Saturday’s poor display, and it got even better straight after the interval. After Pocklington had held well from Scott’s free-kick, Aycliffe broke down the other end and increased their lead.
Jardine received Gardner’s pass and crossed for Robson, who in turn fed debutant Phil Gray. The left-back, on loan from Darlington, could have had a shot himself, but instead returned the ball to Robson, and the striker picked his spot in the corner of Keith Finch’s goal to put Aycliffe in a commanding position.
Three minutes later and Aycliffe had a spectacular fourth. Gardner fired an unstoppable drive from the corner of the penalty area, and in the process equalled the club’s all-time goalscoring record of 45.
But the man whose record Gardner had equalled soon made his mark on the game, as Byrne evaded two challenges in the Aycliffe area before slotting home past Pocklington.
The Railwaymen felt aggrieved not to have pulled a second back on the hour-mark. Robson had come back to help defend a Shildon corner but needed to clear his own header off the line.
The home side believed the ball had crossed the line, but while they were appealing to the linesman, Aycliffe were breaking at speed. Jardine crossed from the right, but Robson couldn’t get the touch to claim his hat-trick, and the follow up was fired wide by the marauding Gray.
Gardner then went close to breaking the goalscoring record with a speculative shot from the left-hand side of the area, but it fizzed narrowly over Finch’s crossbar.
Aycliffe comfortably saw out the remaining 20-minutes to record a hugely impressive victory. The club will look to build on the win on Saturday as Newcastle Benfield visit Moore Lane Park.
Phil Gray – professional!
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