Saturday, 8 August 2009

Newton Aycliffe v Hebburn Town 08/08/09

For the first game of the 2009-10 season we visited newly promoted Newton Aycliffe who were looking to get off to a winning start against Hebburn Town. The sun was shining and the ground was buzzing with excitement at the prospect of Aycliffe's first Northern League game. Aycliffe had the better of the early exchanges having the majority of the possesion and a few chances which went just wide of the goal. They kept the pressure on for the first 20 minutes of the game but they just couldn't force that opening goal which would have settled them down and helped them get into their rhythm. This proved costly as Hebburn began to come back into the game and although they never really looked like scoring they were stopping aycliffe playing their football. For the rest of the half the game stayed fairly level and neither side looked menacing. It wasn't until the stroke of halftime when a ball was played into the box and it fell to the Hebburn striker who had his back to goal, the Aycliffe keeper then made a challenge from behind and brought him down giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot and reward a penalty. The Hebburn forward made no mistake as he placed the ball in the bottom right hand corner off the post to give them a 1-0 lead going into half time.
The start of the second half was very event full as in the first minute Hebburn created a move down the right hand side and the resulting cross was met by the forward with his head causing the Aycliffe keeper to pull off a great save diving to his left with one hand. Seconds later Aycliffe went straight up the other end and a shot from the left hand side hit the post and rebounded away from the incoming Aycliffe player looking for an easy tap in. The pace stayed high throughout the second half and in the 52nd minute a corner was crossed in from the right by Hebburn which was headed goal wards, the Aycliffe player did his best to prevent the ball going over the line but the linesman judged that it had crossed the line giving Hebburn a 2-0 lead with 35 minutes to go. Aycliffe still looked the better side after this and their early pressure and many missed chances finally turned into a goal in the 57th when a ball was played over the top from the defence and the Aycliffe forward beat the offside trap to be 1 on 1 with the keeper, he kept his composure by taking it around the keeper and slotting it home to give them some hope of a comeback at 2-1 down. Aycliffe upped their game as they could sense that a comeback was on and after 15 minutes of pressure they got what they were looking for as a cross came in from the right and the Aycliffe winger missed a glorious chance to volley them level, however the ball came to the midfielder on the left and he played the ball straight back into the box which this time was headed home to complete the comeback. Aycliffe had deserved the draw but they felt that they could get more out of the game and kept pressing to get the winning goal in what would be an amazing result after being 2-0 down. Hebburn held firm until the 89th minute when a through ball was flicked on to the Aycliffe striker who turned and hit the ball on the half volley, the place seemed to stand still as everyone watched the ball nestle in the net and give Aycliffe a 3-2 lead. After that it was just a case of get the ball away from their goal and wait for the final whistle to go. Deep into stoppage time to make their day even worse Hebburn had a man sent off, the ball was played down the line and the Aycliffe player had hold of the midfielders shirt, the Hebburn player reacted and raised his arms and pushed the Aycliffe player out of frustration giving the referee no choice but to send him off. The final whistle went and the crowd went home after seeing a great game of football and an amazing comeback from Northern League newcomers Aycliffe who showed that they aren't here just for an easy first season.

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