|Newton Aycliffe FC||2|
By Glen Robertson
Newton Aycliffe’s first foray into the FA Cup proved to be a miserable one, as Billingham Synthonia recorded a 7-2 victory at a sunny Moore Lane Park.
Much like Aycliffe’s first entry into the FA Vase last season, a heavy defeat was suffered on the big occasion.
Fred Woodhouse earned the honour of being the club’s first goalscorer in the competition, but by the time he found the net it was a mere consolation, as Aycliffe trailed 5-0.
Daniel Earl grabbed a hat-trick for the visitors, with further goals by David Hillerby, James Magowan, Michael Cater and Kieran Edwards securing Synthonia’s safe passage to the preliminary qualifying round of the competition.
Josh Gray scored Aycliffe’s second direct from a corner as the game neared its conclusion, but the meekness of the celebrations summed up the deflated atmosphere among the club’s supporters.
Aycliffe fell behind after just four minutes. A long ball from inside Synthonia’s half evaded Aycliffe’s back-four and released Curtis Collantine on the right-hand side. The full-back found Earl in the penalty area, who pulled the ball back from the byline to the unmarked Hillerby and the visitors’ captain made no mistake from six-yards out.
Aycliffe were shell-shocked at falling behind so early and could have found themselves two-down on 17 minutes, but a last-ditch tackle from James Oliver prevented Earl getting a shot away.
Minutes later Synthonia midfielder Chay Liddle fired wide after being laid off by the busy Earl. The only chance of note Aycliffe mustered in the opening quarter was a long range drive from Ben Wood that sailed harmlessly over.
It took 28 minutes for the home side’s first attempt on target. Darren Craddock and Paul Broom linked well down Aycliffe’s right, before the latter found Elliot Gardner in space on the edge of the penalty area.Gardner’s effort forced a good save from Joshua Moody in the Synthonia goal.
But Synthonia soon doubled their advantage. Two minutes after Liddle had struck Andrew Spence’s right-hand post, Earl grabbed the first of his three strikes. In an almost mirror image of the first goal, a long-ball found Collantine in space on the right-hand side and the full-back’s early cross was clinically converted by Earl.
Aycliffe needed to get to half-time to be able to re-group, but just before referee Neil Sharp blew for the interval they fell further behind. The impressive Glenn Donaldson released James Magowan through on goal and the striker scored at the second attempt, after Spence had saved his initial effort.
The second-half started much brighter for the home-side, who came out fired-up after their half-time team-talk. First Gray went close with a left-footed drive from the edge of the area that just went past Moody’s right-hand post, before the former Darlington winger crossed for Gardner, who couldn’t keep his shot down.
But any hopes of a great comeback were extinguished just after the hour mark. Synthonia captain Hillerby released Earl through on goal and the striker scored his second goal of the contest to give the visitors a four-goal lead.
Earl completed his hat-trick six minutes later to put Synthonia 5-0 up. This time it was a through-ball from Edwards that broke the offside trap, and Earl lobbed Spence as the goalkeeper rushed out to the edge of his area.
Aycliffe finally got on the scoresheet with nine-minutes of the contest left. Gray stepped away from his marker before finding Woodhouse in the area. The second-half substitute saw his first effort saved by Moody, but Woodhouse made no mistake at the second attempt.
Within three minutes of the goal, Aycliffe had conceded numbers six and seven. First, both of the visitor’s substitutes combined, with Nathan Jameson threading a ball through for Cater to smash past Spence. And a minute later, Mark Peck was caught in possession by Edwards, who rounded the ‘keeper and placed it past the covering Gardner.
With fans streaming out of the gate, Aycliffe scored their second and the ninth goal of the contest. Synthonia ‘keeper Moody misjudged the flight of Gray’s corner and Collantine couldn’t prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Aycliffe will look to put the disappointing cup campaign behind them on Wednesday night, as first division football resumes with the visit of Bedlington Terriers.
This feature is currently in development but will be available soon.