Ashington AFC



North Shields

Sat 25 Feb 2017 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home


Woodhorn Lane




Stephen Dial



By Brian Bennett

Two goals in quick succession in the closing stages from Gary Ormston and Dean Holmes enabled North Shields to consolidate top spot and hold an eight points cushion over nearest challengers and neighbours South Shields at the head of the Ebac Northern League table. For 80 minutes, this contest had been firmly in the melting pot with little to choose between the sides as the Colliers bravely battled tooth and nail in a bid to cause a shock result. The first half – marginally edged by the Wansbeck side – had seen Gareth Bainbridge and Ben Richardson score against their former clubs but it was the introduction from the bench of Dan Wilson which proved to be decisive as the pendulum finally swung in favour of the Shieldsmen. Terrific and unstinting work by the ground staff leading up to the game had ensured that despite the appalling weather, the contest went ahead. The surface was going to be heavy – and with 20 minutes left when Robins boss Jon McDonald threw Wilson into the fray, his fresh legs and skill proved to be Ashington’s undoing. With ten minutes to go and many in the 255 crowd casting an eye towards a draw, Wilson’s extra pace against a tiring home defence saw him wriggle past a defender in the box and cross where Gary Ormston planted a firm header from six yards into the far corner. Three minutes later, the visitors put the game to bed. Ben Christensen’s touch on Wilson may have been minimal but it was enough to send the striker over in the area. And after referee Stephen Dial had awarded a penalty, Holmes despatched the resultant spot kick with aplomb sending home ‘keeper Conor Grant the wrong way. In the context of the game, it was cruel on an Ashington side who fell behind on the quarter hour. Ormston was the provider of a superbly played ball inside the Ashington defender for the overlapping Marc Lancaster who crossed low and hard from the left. Craig Scott – making his return after being out for a couple of months – half cleared and the ball ricocheted off Ryan Bell before falling to Bainbridge, the ex Collier, who calmly side footed inside the corner. In the 27th minute, a ball played through by Shaun Henderson for Shaun Bell saw Shields ‘keeper Kyle Hayes show lightening reactions to race from his line and smother then a 20 yarder from Richardson was held by the sprawling stopper diving to his right. Ryan Bell made a superb last ditch tackle to stop Holmes who would have otherwise been clean through before the Colliers got back on terms seven minutes from the break. After the award of a free kick 22 yards out, ex Robins midfielder Richardson’s effort took a deflection to squirm past Hayes and creep inside the bottom corner. It was nothing more than the hosts deserved – and in the final minute of the half, Hayes was brought into the action again, tipping over from Richardson. Shields had kicked into the teeth of a strong wind during the first half but after the changeover, Steve Harmison’s side also had to battle against the rain which swept down the ground. Early doors, Grant smothered a shot from Holmes then on the hour the number one was heavily involved in the action. He touched over a free kick from Adam Forster then came out bravely to thwart Lancaster who had played a one-two with Jordan Summerly. Ashington came more into the game and midway through, Scott glanced on a cross from Henderson but the angle was tight for Lee McAndrew who sliced over. Then came the late, late show from the leaders as Ormston and Holmes broke Ashington hearts. *Before the game got under way, players, officials and supporters observed an impeccable minutes silence as a mark or respect for long serving Ashington FC fan Ivan Bell who sadly passed away recently. 

Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Christensen, Antony (McGorrigan 84 minutes), Scott, R Bell (Tiffoney 78 minutes), S Bell, Richardson, McAndrew (Bulford 81 minutes), B Harmison, Pearson. Subs not used: Salmon, Sampson.

North Shields: Hayes, Donnison, Lancaster, Forster, Coppen, Hughes, Summerly (Kerridge 65 minutes), Ormston, Bainbridge (Wilson 71 minutes), McKeown, Holmes. Subs not used: Brooking, Smith, McCafferty (gk)



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