It’s going to be a strange season. Less than a week into the season & Aycliffe has already had 3 games postponed. Two of them were for the very happy reason that Hebburn & Consett have made it through to the final of the 19/20 Buildbase FA Vase. The final is due to be played at Wembley on 27 September, the day after Consett were due to be visiting Aycliffe. Our first league game, on 5 September, was due to be against Hebburn but their Vase semi-final was played that day.

The third postponement is much more of a worrying sign of what this season might be like. Our game at home to Sunderland RCA on Tuesday 8 September was called off on Monday afternoon. The Northern League informed us that the game was being postponed due to a positive Covid-19 test by a family member of one of RCA’s players.

Aycliffe managed to open their league campaign on Saturday 5 September with a trip to North Shields. The game ended in a goalless draw but there were a number of chances for both sides. Both keepers were kept busy & Adam Pickford in the Aycliffe goal pulled off a couple of excellent saves. Although it would have been great to start the new league campaign with a win, a point at North Shields is a good result.

The draw was some small consolation for the huge disappointment of going out of the Emirates FA Cup last week. Aycliffe travelled to Guisborough Town in the Extra Preliminary Round on Wednesday 2 September in a game played in atrocious weather conditions. The Priorymen took the win by a single goal scored late in the game. Aycliffe had the chance to take the match to a penalty shoot-out when the referee pointed to the spot in the 95th minute. Unfortunately Arran Wearmouth’s spot-kick was saved by Guisborough’s keeper & Aycliffe once more fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup.

With both Aycliffe & Shildon out of the Cup they have been paired to play a League game at the Beaumont Landscapes Stadium on the date of the next round, Saturday 12 September. Kick off is 3:00pm. As per current govt/FA regulations the crowd capacity is limited to 300 & will be on a “first come first served” basis so please get there early. Could we also ask that spectators try to bring the correct change to games to minimise cash handling.

With all the changes going on please keep up to date with fixtures etc by visiting our website

Photos by Yvonne Wood: Referee Alex Clark takes evasive action as an Ethan Wood clearance gets a bit too close.

Aycliffe keeper Adam Pickford is kept busy by the North Shields forwards.