Report by David Strickland
Newton Aycliffe progressed to the knockout stage of the League Cup by beating Northallerton 1-0 at home in their final group stage game. Aycliffe needed to win and dominated the game throughout. They didn't have their shooting boots on though and missed several good chances to close the game out.
The first half hour was a cagey affair. Northallerton only needed a draw, so were happy to absorb pressure and counter-attack. Man-of-the match Nick Green broke up many of the counter-attacks. Aycliffe played their passing game but couldn’t find the breakthrough.
It only took four minutes into the second half for Aycliffe to open the scoring. Lewis Walton put a great corner kick into the six yard box for leading scorer Dean Thexton to knock it in for his 21st of the season.
On 65 minutes Aycliffe put together a good team move but Shaun Ryder put his shot just over the bar. Five minutes later Thexton chipped Northallerton keeper Coulson but the ball hit the bar. Liam Jarvie had a shot deflected over the bar, then Ryder brought out a great save from Coulson. Thexton headed the ball into the net with a couple of minutes left, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Coulson. Aycliffe continued to press for a second, but didn’t add to their 1-0 lead and that’s how it stayed. The win took them through by achieving second place in the group table.
MOTM : Green. Cautions : Webster. Subs : Phelan for McNamara (45), Ballan for Webster (73). Attendance : 131.