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Aycliffe peg Auckland back.

Newton Aycliffe 3-2 West Auckland Town

West Auckland Town’s miserable form continued as Newton Aycliffe completed a second half fightback to claim their third successive win of the season albeit in controversial fashion.

Shaun Ryder scored the matchwinner in the 67th minute, though there was anger among the West dugout prior to the goal as the ball appeared to have gone out for an Auckland throw which resulted in the hosts being awarded the decision by referee Craig Chatten.

West raced into a two-goal lead inside 17 minutes through Adam Burnicle and Amar Purewal before Aycliffe fought back with goals either half from Dean Thexton and Johnson Ballan as Gary Forrest’s side remain in 18th in the Northern League Division One table with two points from six matches.

Alex Francis was shown a straight red card for an adjudged foul on Ballan within nine minutes of coming on to wrap up a disappointing afternoon at the Beaumont Landscapes Stadium.

Forrest made two changes from Wednesday evening’s defeat at Guisborough with Lewis Dodds and Chris Hunter replacing Paul Connor and Francis.

In scorching conditions, West got off to the best possible start inside 12 minutes with some simple route one football as a long diagonal ball from Dodds found Burnicle advancing into the 18-yard box and the marksman controlled it before pulling the trigger past a helpless Adam Pickford in the bottom right-hand corner.

Soon after it was two-nil with a well-worked team move when Joe Hillerby laid it off to Liam Hegarty, who’s cross from the right was powered home via a bullet header by Purewal as the former Darlington striker netted his third goal of the seasonwith West in cruise control.

On 28 minutes, Aycliffe managed to claw one back when Gez Richardson broke down the left-hand side with ease, squared it to the feet of Thexton and the frontman kept his cool to slot the ball underneath Tom Flynn and give Colin Stromsoy’s side something to build on for the second half.

It remained a tightly contested affair after the interval as chances were few and far between though West came close to extending their lead following an incisive run by Hegarty as the right back burst forward, cut inside before firing just wide of Pickford’s goal.

Aycliffe brought the game level in the 57th minute as Ryder did well to keep the ball in play and deliver a low cross to pick out Ballan, who cleverly turned to roll the ball beyond Flynn and send the home supporters into a delightful mood.

West were left stunned as they squandered a two goal lead and Aycliffe soon inflicted more damage just ten minutes later, albeit in a controversial manner, as Forrest’s side were adamant they should have been awarded a throw in, however instead the referee gave it to the hosts and Marc Costello’s long throw found Thexton, who held off a couple of challenges as he played in Ryder and the ex-Bishop Auckland forward dinked the ball over Flynn to complete a harsh but stunning fightback.

West now turn their attention to Saturday as they host local rivals Bishop in the first Auckland derby of the season at the Wanted Stadium (15:00).

Newton Aycliffe – Pickford, Ballan (Pennal, 73), Read, Costello, Brown (c), McNamara, Barnes, Ryder, Thexton, Richardson (Carr, 84), Green

Subs not used – Lowrie, Wood, Waters

Goals – Thexton (28), Ballan (57), Ryder (67)

West Auckland – Flynn, Hegarty (Connor, 88), Price, Cobain, Hunter, Colquhoun, Mitchell, Dodds (c), Hillerby (Francis, 60), Purewal, Burnicle

Sub not used – M. Bell

Goals – Burnicle (12), Purewal (17)

Referee – Craig Chatten

Attendance – 146

Report by Harry Connor Crowe

Photo by Yvonne Wood. (NAFC)

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