Saturday 23rd February: Newcastle Benfield (H) 3pm
Wednesday 27th February: Bedlington (A) 7.30pm
Saturday 2nd March: Billingham Town (A) 3pm
Tuesday 5th March: Celtic Nation (A) 7.30pm
Saturday 9th March: Ashington (H) 3pm
Newton Aycliffe skipper Sean Tarling has warned his fellow players that they must not slip up against Newcastle Benfield this weekend.
The Royal Blues pulled off arguably their most impressive away result of the campaign with a 2-0 win at Dunston last weekend, but the hard work would be undone if they were to slip up against the Lions.
Benfield are 2 places and 3 points behind the Newtonians in the table with the relegation places six points further back. A win for Aycliffe would mark a huge step towards safety, and their captain wants to see the players take advantage.
Aycliffe travelled to Dunston on the back of their first defeat of 2013 – a 2-1 home reverse against Celtic Nation – and were underdogs against the Fed.
The Newtonians made the brighter start. In the 11th minute Fred Woodhouse released Danny Lambert, who forced a save by Liam Connell down at his near post.
Darren Craddock was booked after hauling down Lewis Teasdale and Scott Pocklington was forced into a good save from Craggs’ resulting free-kick.
Aycliffe took the lead just before the half-hour mark. Lambert played the ball through the home side’s defence and Danny Earl evaded Connell’s challenge and walked the ball into an empty net for his 15th goal of the season. Pocklington was called into action again in the 51st minute. Teasdale’s ferociously-hit effort from 25 yards was heading for the top corner but the keeper did brilliantly to tip the ball over the bar.
Paul Broom then scored with 22 minutes remaining. Woodhouse burst past his marker down the left and pulled the ball back for the former Broom who steered a shot into the net for his 21st goal in Aycliffe colours.
The home side brought on Andy Bulford and Stephen Goddard in an attempt to rescue something, but Aycliffe defended superbly and John Close celebrated his 100th club appearance with a well-earned clean sheet.
Another clean sheet against Benfield this weekend would be another step towards safety. Kick-off at 3pm at Moore Lane Park, admission £5 adults and £3 concessions.