Newton Aycliffe fought back after twice going behind to earn a draw at Washington. The result means that the two sides will replay at Moore Lane on Tuesday 9 August (kick off 7:30). Aycliffe made a poor start & conceded a free kick just outside the box in the second minute of the game. Mark Davison took the kick for the home side which struck the underside of the bar before finding its way into the net. For the next 15 minutes it looked as though Washington would add a second as the Aycliffe defence struggled to cope. However, the visitors began to settle down & proved more
of a threat. Stuart Banks had a couple of shots which were off target but on 20 minutes
John Campbell grabbed the equaliser. Last season’s top scorer broke through the defence on the left, coolly firing past the keeper. Aycliffe came close to taking the lead a few minutes later when central defender Alex Kitchen’s header went wide of the post. Washington again and took the lead on the half hour. Again it came from a free kick, this time wide on the wing. The ball was crossed into the box which was met by a powerful header into the goal. Three minutes later Washington had another chance but their shot was blocked by Aycliffe keeper James Winter. The final chance of the half fell to Campbell who was denied as he tried to round the keeper. The second half started much better for Aycliffe with a goal coming on 50 minutes. The Washington defenders failed to clear a cross & the ball fell to Ashley Coffey on the edge of the box. His shot was carefully placed giving the keeper no chance. Although both sides continued to press there were few clear cut chances at either end. With 5 minutes remaining Aycliffe were reduced to 10 men when Dennis Knight was sent off for a second yellow card, but the team were able to hold out for the draw. The result means a replay followed by a tough trip to Marske on Saturday as the League season starts, then a home game against South Shields on Tuesday 16 August. Shields are newly promoted but have big ambitions & will bring a big crowd with them to Moore Lane.