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Ashington AFC

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Morpeth Town

Mon 29 Aug 2016 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home

Stadium

Woodhorn Lane

Kick-Off

13:00

By Brian Bennett

Ashington came close to causing an upset but in the end had to settle for a draw after a late penalty from Morpeth’s Luke Carr denied them all three points after a well contested derby at Woodhorn Lane on Bank Holiday Monday. Andrew Bulford’s third goal in as many games had put the Colliers ahead on the hour and the home side looked to be heading for their third win of the campaign until they were on the wrong end of a contentious spot kick decision. In truth, however, there were other turning points in the contest too. At 0-0, Sean Taylor missed a glorious chance for the Highwaymen whilst shortly after Bulford had broken the deadlock, Lee McAndrew and Kyle Downey both squandered marvellous opportunities to increase Ashington’s lead. In a first period which was dominated for long periods by the FA Vase holders, chances were minimal. Town full back Stephen Forster who was prominent, cut inside in the fourth minute but fired wide then his dangerous low cross was intercepted by Wayne Buchanan. James Harmison also made a vital clearance before a 20 yarder from Paul Robinson was held by ‘keeper Conor Grant. An effort from Damen Mullen was repelled by Grant who saved the follow up by Michael Chilton but the assistant had his flag raised for offside and any score would have been disallowed. Forster was exploiting the space down the right flank and on another occasion when he slipped the ball inside for Taylor, the move fizzled out as the striker skied the ball over. It was 37 minutes before Ashington really threatened with Bulford glancing a header across to Scott Gunn but his shot was charged down by Matty Grieve. Nine minutes into the second half, Carr crossed from the left but the incoming Taylor – who looked a certain scorer - saw his effort smack against the base of the post. Ashington’ riposte was to take the lead in the 57th minute through Bulford. Downey won a tackle midway inside his own half then played a one-two with Gunn before clipping a superb pass through for Bulford. The striker charged goal wards then took the ball wide of advancing ‘keeper Karl Dryden and slotted home left footed. Two minutes later, Mullen almost levelled but drove narrowly wide whilst at the other end, a low cross from Downey just eluded James Harmison at the far post. Downey continued to be heavily involved in the action and he supplied another defence splitting pass which put McAndrew clean through one-on-one with Dryden but the forward clipped his shot wide of the post. Midway through the period, midfield schemer Downey produced a terrific run which saw him skip past three challenges only to shoot across the face of the goal from a tight angle. A timely tackle by Buchanan snuffed out the danger to thwart Carr – before Morpeth drew level from the spot in the 85th minute. James Novak crossed into the area where the ball bounced up off McAndrew’s foot and struck him on the hand. The referee awarded a spot kick and Carr kept his cool to send Grant the wrong way. With time running out, shouts by the visitors for a second penalty were turned down.

 

Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Christensen, Blandford (Sampson 76 minutes), J Harmison, Buchanan, Gunn, Downey, Stevens, Bulford, McAndrew. Subs not used: Salmon, Dunn, Scott, Glasper (gk).

Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster, Novak, Sayer (Fry 80 minutes), Grieve, Reid, Taylor (Anderson 63 minutes), Mullen, Carr, Chilton, Robinson (Graydon 63 minutes). Subs not used: Fondato, Hall.

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