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Ashington AFC

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Team Northumbria

Sat 12 Aug 2017 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home

Stadium

Woodhorn Lane

Attendance

174

Referee

Mark Ryan

Kick-Off

15:00

By Brian Bennett

What a difference a year makes! At this time last season, Ashington had conceded ten goals from their opening two league games; scored none and were also licking their wounds after exiting the Emirates FA Cup. This term, they are unbeaten after their first three games and on Saturday (August 19) look forward to a clash against Sunderland RCA in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.

Supporters have also played a key part in lifting the atmosphere at Woodhorn Lane – being appreciative of constructive moves and generating a warm noisy buzz around the place when the Colliers score. Such was the case on Saturday when Kyle Downey set them on their way to their first league win of the campaign with a stunning free kick despatched with aplomb in only the fifth minute. Downey stepped up to curl a precision left footer from fully 25 yards into the top corner which left ‘keeper Stefan Holden helpless. Then on the quarter hour, Ben Harmison’s low cross from the left was handled in the area by visitors skipper Liam McNamara and after referee Mark Ryan had pointed to the spot, Downey doubled the lead, sending Holden the wrong way from the penalty. It was just the start the Colliers had wanted – yet they could so easily have been trailing in the second minute when a first time effort from Robert Spence narrowly cleared the bar following a cross from the right flank. Ex Collier Scott Gunn had a free kick pushed out by home stopper Conor Grant then on the half hour Ben Sampson played the ball sideways for Downey who eyeing up his hat-trick, was denied by Holden, who collected at the second attempt. Grant held from Spence before James Harmison thwarted Gerard Richardson with a brilliant tackle inside the area. Chances in the second period were at a premium. Matthew Lowrie glanced a corner from Harry Jewitt wide then a ball from substitute Aiden Heywood went across the face of the Ashington goal. The closest the Colliers came was three minutes from time. Ben Harmison latched onto a clearance from Grant and tried to chip Holden but the ‘keeper held comfortably. Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Hornsby, Strafford (McAndrew 78 minutes), J Harmison, Buchanan, Sampson, Downey (Antony 46 minutes), Johnston (Pearson 65 minutes), B Harmison, Stephenson. Subs not used: Salmon, Henderson.

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