SUNDAY LEAGUE: Ayton Reserves edge 11-goal Friday night thriller
Ayton Reserves sealed a 6-5 victory against Newlands Reserves at the Flamingo Land Stadium on Friday night in their Sunday League Division Two clash.
Steven Frederiksen's Ayton side fell behind after an error from their goalkeeper allowed Josh Williams to tap Newlands into the lead.
Newlands doubled their lead, Callum O'Keefe firing in from the edge of the box to hand Lee Dolan and Mark Eyres' side a comortable lead.
Ayton battled back superly though and halved their deficit on 20 minutes after a fine cross from Luke Chambers on the left found Si Coupland, who slotted home from six yards.
Newlands were then denied a third goal by the woodwork after a fine free-kick from veteran Nick David, but Ayton then upped their game and on 30 minutes a quick switch of play saw Leroy Donaldson's through-ball find Shaun Dolan on the right wing, who advanced and then cut inside to fire in and make it 2-2.
Ayton were on top by this point and a corner from Joe D'Angelo-White found centre-back Aaron Armstrong inside the 18-yard-box and he blasted in a half-volley to send Frederiksen's side into the break with a 3-2 lead.
Some high pressing just after the break from Ayton then saw Coupland get his second and hand Ayton a 4-2 lead and then five minutes later he completed his hat-trick to send his side 5-2 up and take the game away from Newlands.
A dangerous cross into the box on the hour-mark looked to have been collected by the Ayton keeper, however the ball fell free and was bundled over the line by Taylor Jordan.
Ten minutes later Armstrong conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box and David placed the ball perfectly into the top-left corner and give Newlands hope of an unlikely comeback at 5-4.
Ayton weren't to be denied though and a Chris Hannam corner found Donaldson at the back post and he blasted the ball over the line from close range to make it 6-4.
In the final minute Newlands battled back yet again after another poorly-conceded free-kick from Ayton on the edge of their box was converted finely by Mikey Anderson to make it 6-5.
Fortunately for Ayton the full time whistle blew shortly after the re-start and they claimed a hard-fought three points.
Delighted Ayton player-boss Frederiksen said: "Aaron Armstrong was our man of the match but I thought Chris Hannam and Scott Davison both did well in the middle of the park for us too."
Newlands' joint-boss Dolan said: "Conner Bell, Chris Millson and Brandon Catheral all shone for us, but man of the match was Nick David.
"It was an enjoyable night despite the arctic temperature even though we lost. Fair play to Ayton, we hit the woodwork three times but couldn't quite nick a point."