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Darlington defeated at Aycliffe
Newton Aycliffe 3 Darlington 1
Darlington suffered a second consecutive friendly defeat last night and again they lost by a 3-1 scoreline.
Whitby Town were the victors at the weekend, and last night Newton Aycliffe enjoyed a deserved victory with all of the goals at Moor Lane Park coming in the second half.
Quakers would point to the number of trialists and youth team players that featured, particularly after the break, when manager Martin Gray made a series of changes as he seeks to build match fitness levels.
The starting XI was strong, though, and Chris Moore saw plenty of the ball in the first 45 minutes during which time he was twice denied by new Aycliffe keeper Danny Molyneux, who has joined from Billingham Town.
Another former Billingham Town player, Jamie Owens, gave the hosts the lead with a fine effort just after the restart. Spotting Craig Turns off his line, he lobbed the keeper with a delicate chip from 35 yards.
It would’ve been 2-0 had Turns not made a two-handed stop to deny Owens, but it was 1-1 midway through the half when substitute Kerry Hedley drilled one home. Hedley remains under contract with Hartlepool, but Gray intends to sign him before the start of the season.
Substitute Michael Gibson restored Aycliffe’s lead after cutting inside from the left and although a trialist striker for Quakers, who Gray did not want to identity, hit the woodwork, in the dying moments Danny Mellanby, the former Darlington striker, tucked home a rebound after Owens struck the post.
Newton Aycliffe (4-4-2): Molyneux; Gibson, Mitten, Salvin, Owen; Selby, Broom, Woodhouse, Lambert; Earl, Owens.
Darlington (4-3-3): Turns, J Robinson, Hunter, Brown, Poole; Riley, Davis, P Robinson; Moore, A Johnson, Purewal.
* Darlington’s league fixtures were announced yesterday and we will print them in full on Saturday. Nine of Quakers’ games at Heritage Park clash with Bishop Auckland home fixtures, but Darlington hope to be given priority due to being in a higher division.
* A Darlington XI plays at Darlington RA tonight, 7.30pm kick-off.
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