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Ashington AFC

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Sunderland RCA

Sat 4 Feb 2017 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home

Stadium

Woodhorn Lane

Attendance

169

Referee

Lindsey Robinson

Kick-Off

15:00

By Brian Bennett

Following seven consecutive defeats, Ashington finally returned to winning ways with victory over Sunderland RCA at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday. And the Colliers – who trailed 2-0 at the interval – brilliantly carried out a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ type script before securing their first win for two months. After going into the contest with only one win from their last 12 games, it was a startling comeback - and against a side who suffered a heart breaking exit in their FA Vase tie at Newport Pagnell the previous week. Ben Richardson made his first start since mid October and the midfielder was involved as Ashington carved out in the first opportunity in the seventh minute. The ex North Shields man drove in a free-kick from the left which saw Wayne Buchanan’s header pouched by ‘keeper Jonathan Carmichael. However two minutes later, it was home stopper Conor Grant who denied Michael Charlton, blocking his effort after a move spearheaded by Stephen Callen and Liam McBryde. The opening quarter of the game had been scrappy then Charlton set up James Cassidy but he was foiled by a timely block from Shaun Henderson. Grant dived to his right to hold onto a shot from McBryde then Ben Harmison won a tackle to release Dale Pearson who was clear on goal until Carmichael raced out to smother. Similarly the ‘keeper moved smartly to intercept after Luke Salmon, Ben Harmison and Pearson had linked to set up a chance for Kyle Downey. The Colliers had been the better side but they found themselves two goals down as McBryde struck a double in the final ten minutes of the half. The opener stemmed from a cross from the right by Luke Richardson and when Charlton’s shot was repelled by Grant, McBryde had the simple task of prodding the rebound home from close range. Minutes later, Charlton and Richardson made inroads again but the danger was averted by Shaun Bell who cleared for a corner. With only two minutes of normal time remaining, Buchanan was dispossessed by Callen who advanced before squaring the ball across for McBryde to slot past Grant to double the lead. And in time added on, Charlton found himself through but his shot was held by Grant. Early in the second period, Shaun Bell was not far away with an effort from the edge of the box then Pearson latched onto a flick on by Harmison but dragged a left footed effort narrowly wide of the far post. In the 54th minute, Lee McAndrew replaced Salmon in a move which proved pivotal. Two minutes later, Ashington’s revival began. Pearson was fouled in the area by Craig Hodgson and after referee Lindsey Robinson had pointed to the spot, Downey breathed a huge sigh of relief as his penalty went in off the post. On the hour, the visitors could so easily have restored their two goals advantage as Callen’s deflected shot was saved with his legs by Grant. And the brilliance of Grant was reflected four minutes later as Ashington drew level. Harmison and Pearson combined to put McAndrew through and the substitute made no mistake, tucking his effort wide of Carmichael and just inside the far upright. Grant thwarted substitute John Butler before Ashington completed a breathtaking comeback with 12 minutes remaining. McAndrew surged down the left and when he crossed, Ben Harmison placed a header inside the post. *On Saturday, Ashington are away to Guisborough (3pm)

 

Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Salmon (McAndrew 54 minutes), R Bell, Christensen, Buchanan, Richardson (Sampson 81 minutes), S Bell, Downey, B Harmison, Pearson (McGorrigan 75 minutes). Subs not used: Bulford, J Harmison.

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