Date Time Competition Season Attendance Captain
15/08/2023 19:30 Emirates FA Cup 2023/24 195 Jordan Fielding

Newton Aycliffe FC logo KO Guisborough Town F.C. Logo KO 11 27 39 52 58 63 76 76 79 82 90 93 FT

Match Report

A severely-depleted Guisborough Town side produced one of their most memorable victories in their history with an amazingly heroic 3-2 FA Cup replay win at Newton Aycliffe after looking down and almost out as they trailed 2-0 at half-time.

With nearly half the Guisborough squad either out injured or nursing injuries even as they sat on the bench, against all the odds they produced a sensational but fully deserved shock result against opponents from a league above themselves.

A euphoric Guisborough Manager Steve Bell captured the drama of it all perfectly when he said after the game:

Going in 2-0 down at half-time I said ‘look lads you have two choices – either go out for the second half and just die a slow death or keep battling away and let’s see what happens’. To their huge credit they went back out and gave it a right go and in my opinion were richly-deserved winners over the whole 90 minutes and especially the second half.

To achieve what they have done tonight with half a team out with injuries and others on our patched-up bench also nursing injuries is nothing short of amazing. I am absolutely buzzing and so proud of each and every one of them.

He praised the whole team to the hilt and made special members of the two youngest members of the squad – James Boucher and Matthew Bage, products of Guisborough’s youth development programmes.

Trailing 2-0 at half-time to goals from Aycliffe’s Jake Petitjean (11th minute) and Liam Jarvie (39th minute) the Priorymen produced an almost unbelievable and hugely memorable second half. For long periods of the half they made Aycliffe from the Northern Premier League look decidedly second best but the never-say-die Priorymen had to wait until the 90th and 93rd minutes to clinch a last-gasp 3-2 victory.

Before that Guisborough had pegged Aycliffe back to 2-1 when they scored just two minutes after the interval when a one-two between Cole Kiernan and Kurt Howes result in a shot by the latter from the edge of the penalty area taking a deflection and ending up nestled in the bottom corner. The boost of that early second half goal gave Guisborough renewed hope and belief and to a man every single player made a massive individual contribution to enable their side to slowly but surely gain the upper hand over their higher league opponents, last season’s Northern League champions no less!

But it wasn’t until the dying stages of the game that Guisborough absolutely stunned Aycliffe with two goals in the final six minutes.

First, on the stroke of 90 minutes Guisborough won a free kick about 20 yards out and Pickett picked his spot beautifully firing over the Aycliffe defensive wall and into the roof of the net to make it 2-2 and send the sizeable Guisborough contingent in a crowd of 195 absolutely wild with delight.

So at 2-2 and with six minutes of additional time remaining, most of those Guisborough fans were probably hoping for their courageous players to just hang on for a penalty shoot-out finale.

But Guisborough striker Cole Kiernan had other ideas in the 93rd minute as he side-footed the ball home for 3-2 from a fairly acute angle after taking up a great position following a blistering run down the right wing by Howes who then picked out Cole with a perfect pass.

Coincidentally, pulling back to 2-2 was reminiscent of the same scoreline when Guisborough and Aycliffe met just a week ago at the KGV when two late goals that night had earned the Priorymen the right to tonight’s replay.

After tonight’s game, commenting on his dramatic winning goal Cole Kiernan said: “Kurt did brilliantly to get the ball across to me on the left side of the goal and I managed to wrap my foot around the ball to score from what was a bit of a tight angle.” The winning goal tonight was Cole’s third of the season, the first two having come playing as a substitute.

The energetic Joe Pickett said of his terrific free kick which brought the equaliser: “I’d seen their keeper standing towards the left of his goal as if he was expecting me to put a cross over from my free kick. So I just tried to lift the ball over their wall towards the right hand side of the goal to catch the keeper out of position and I managed to do just that and score. It was a great feeling.”

Guisborough’s reward for their fantastic victory is a place in the next Preliminary Round at Yorkshire side Pontefract this coming Saturday, 19 August (KO 3pm).

Report: Bill Perfitt

Past Meetings



The SecuriCorp Stadium
Newton Aycliffe Football Club, Moore Lane, Great Aycliffe, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, North East, England, DL5 5AG, United Kingdom