MATCH REPORT | Newton Aycliffe 1-1 Whickham FC: Solid defensive performance from the Lang Jacks earns hard-fought point

Whickham FC claimed a tough point away to Newton Aycliffe despite a quick-fire equaliser from the home side to cancel out Scott Robson’s unbelievable opener. The visitors took the lead against the run of play when Scott Robson netted after 55 minutes before the hosts deservedly equalised six minutes later. The Lang Jacks made two changes to their starting eleven after Saturday’s 4-1 win against Bishop Auckland bringing in 46-year old player-coach – Steve Bowey – to slip into left-back as Charlie Exley replaced Jack Errington at centre-back Scott Robson returning to the lineup after his suspension. The home side dominated the early stages coming close on multiple occasions – the first chance occurring after seven minutes when Exley slipped in defence allowing Adam Burnicle to break through on goal but the striker’s near-post effort was stopped by the legs of Regan Ward. Despite the heavy pressure from the hosts, Whickham seemed to still have a counter-attacking threat – that was until the 20th minute when Jack Robson limped off the pitch for Oli Leedham after seemingly stretching a muscle too far down the line. From there on out until half-time Aycliffe were well on top forcing Regan into a save close to the half-hour mark before putting chance after chance wide or over the top of the crossbar and even having a penalty appeal turned down. Five minutes after the second half began and Aycliffe had already missed two golden opportunities with Arran Wearmouth bouncing his header just wide of the goal before Adam Jarvie skewed his one-on-one – hitting the side netting with his effort. Scott Robson then fired the visitors into the lead in the 50th minute against the run of play when the forward took the ball down on the edge of the area before taking his time to rifle the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net. The home side equalised six minutes later through an unfortunate Regan Ward own goal with the goalkeeper unable to move out of the way of a back post effort courtesy of Lewis Walton which bundled in off Ward after Walton’s effort crashed against the woodwork. Colin Stromsoy’s side saw their strong appeals for a penalty turned away in the 78th minute after Ben Reay rounded Ward when the shot-stopper appeared to trip the substitute in the box but no penalty given. Reay then found Burnicle inside the penalty area with five minutes remaining but he could not convert his chance – sliding his effort just wide of the far post as the Glebemen held on for the point. Next up for the Lang Jacks is a visit to North Shields on Wednesday, October 28th. Starting XI: R. Ward, T. Howard, S. Bowey, C. Exley, D. Burrell, C. Newton, D. Bisset, L. Doyle, J. Robson (O. Leedham, 20′), S. Robson, Z. Atkinson. Unused Substitutes: R. Peareth, L. Taylor-Dodd, A. Haney. Three things we learned:
  1. Whickham won’t dominate all of their games and in the games where they don’t dominate – like this one – they proved they can still get points despite heavy pressure from opponents.
  2. Losing one of the wingers is a big blow to their ability of being able to hit high-pressing teams on the counter-attack and this allowed Newton Aycliffe to have more belief that they won’t be undone by pace on the break.
  3. Even in his forties Steve Bowey is still able to slot into a Northern League side and do a great job.
Ben Robinson spoke with Bowey after his side managed to gain a tough point away from home: