Newton Aycliffe Youth Seniors 7 v Darlington RA Reserves 1
(Minor County Cup)
With another week of wet weather, the seniors took an early decision to switch to a 4G pitch to play one of the favourites for the Minor County Cup. Aycliffe were on top from the start of the game but, unfortunately, an early injury to Josh Bayne, forced a change of shape, with Callum Thomson dropping deeper to shield the defensive back four. The opener came from a swift four pass move, that set Jack Mortimer away down the right, he went to cut in but went on the outside and finished from a tight angle.
Then the ball fell to Niall Douglas, 25 yards out, and on the volley sent the ball flying into the net. RA were rocked as they had not conceded more than 3 goals in any game all season and Aycliffe were putting them under intense pressure. They were forced to hitting long balls forward, hoping to ease the pressure and force the defence to make a mistake. However, our back 4 held strong with Adam Scott solid in goal. It was not long before the third goal with Jack 1 v 1 with their keeper and slotted home. He followed with a mazey run, that saw him brought down in the box. He dusted himself down to smash home the resulting penalty
This rounded off the best first half Aycliffe have played all season. The team knew that RA would go all out to get back in the game, as they went 3 at the back and 4 up top. The lads needed to soak up the pressure and stand firm against a quality opposition. Then Aycliffe went down to 10 men with a sin bin and then 9 with a ‘blood’ injury, in this time RA grabbed a goal. They needed to dig in and not concede whilst they were players down and they did, controlling the game across the pitch. As the 2 players returned, Aycliffe stepped up a gear and 3 quick passes set Jack away down the right, this time he beat 3 defenders and squared to Reed Molloy to add our 5th. The referee found 16 minutes of added time which the lads used well. A free kick on the edge of the box allowed Jack to weigh up his options but, after last week’s effort, he opted for the strike and again found the top corner. With minutes to go, Drea Latue hit a shot from distance which sailed into the top corner to close out the game. Final score 7-1. The Aycliffe coaching team knew they had watched a special performance and RA recognised this and said no team had done that to them all season.
MOM could have been given to everyone, but ultimately, with four goals, it would have been harsh on Jack not to get it.