Aycliffe put in a terrific performance in beating league leaders Morpeth Town at Moore Lane. The 2-1 victory meant that Aycliffe stretched their unbeaten run in the league to nine games. The game was played at a frantic pace throughout, with Aycliffe’s twice-weekly training regime paying dividends, as they were still going strong at the end of the game, as Morpeth tired. Aycliffe started well and were rewarded when Jordan Jewson went on a mazy dribble, and after his shot was blocked, debutant Thibault Charmey followed up and fired it low into the corner via the post for 1-0. The lead only lasted 2 minutes, as Morpeth centre-forward Henderson headed in a free-kick. On 15 minutes Kurt Matthews was tripped in the box, but instead of being awarded a penalty, he received a booking for simulation! Morpeth then had a lot of possession, but tight marking in midfield meant that they had to resort to long, high crosses, which centre halves Dan Mitton and Andrew Grant-Soulsby dealt with comfortably. Half-time 1-1.

The pattern continued in the second half. Morpeth’s high ball game nearly paid off when Taylor got free and powered in a header, but home keeper James Winter pulled off a great save. Aycliffe were dominating the midfield and Jewson was causing the Morpeth back four problems. Morpeth’s frustrations spilled over in the 78th minute when Henderson was sent off for stamping. Aycliffe fashioned a great team move with five minutes to go, slicing open the Morpeth defence, with Jewson’s shot just missing the goal.

The pressure told a minute later when Jewson was fouled outside the area. Charmey stepped up and fired the free kick into the corner past Morpeth keeper Dryden. Morpeth threw men forward in an attempt to get an equaliser, but couldn’t trouble Winter. Morpeth full-back Forster was sent off in injury time for another bad tackle. Aycliffe saw out time for a 2-1 victory, resulting in them being voted Northern League Team of the Week.

Next game is away to Ryhope Colliery Welfare on Saturday 24th February at 3.00pm. The next home game is at Moore Lane on Tuesday 27th February at 7.30pm, against Washington, followed by the visit of second placed Consett on Saturday 3rd March.

Attendance : 120. Man of the Match : Thibault Charmey.