Ashington AFC




Sat 26 Aug 2017 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home


Woodhorn Lane




Graeme Hopper



By Brian Bennett

Ashington bounced back in emphatic style following their FA Cup exit by Sunderland Ryhope CA last week, with a resounding victory over Washington at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

Three nil ahead at the interval, they turned the scoreline into a rout. Teenage striker Callum Johnston led the way with a hat trick with Tony Stephenson, Ben Sampson and substitute Damien Stevens also finding the net. The Colliers made the perfect start as they went ahead in the third minute. Washington ‘keeper Dan Gladstone played a goal kick just outside the area which Ashington pressed and after Gladstone had blocked an effort from Ben Sampson, the ball ran free to Johnston who turned on a sixpence and fired home from six yards. The Mechanics engineered a neat move when Rhys Evans pulled the ball back for Peter Watling whose shot was held low down by home ‘keeper Conor Grant. The 13th minute proved unlucky for Ashington skipper Craig Scott who met a right sided corner from Paul Antony on the full but directed a header inches over the bar. Despite trailing, Washington were piecing together some neat football and midway through the period, Jake Pickard headed over from a cross by Bruno Pilatos. Play immediately switched to the other end and a great piece of skill by Ben Harmison inside the area left Andrew Brown bamboozled. However from Harmison’s cross, Johnston cut inside the advancing Gladstone but saw his effort blocked by a defender. Waters had a cross parried away by Grant then Pickard teed up a volley for himself 20 yards out with the ball dipping narrowly over. Ashington went into a commanding 3-0 lead at half time as they hit their visitors with two goals in six minutes. The first on the 40 minutes mark saw Tony Stephenson latch onto a clearance from Scott and find Jay Hornsby down the left. The newcomer – handed a place as a left wing back – crossed low for the incoming Stephenson to finish off the move stabbing home on the run past Gladstone. Then seconds before the half time whistle, Harmison flicked on a thrown in from Luke Salmon and Sampson struck a sumptuous right footed half volley from the edge of the net which lodged just inside the near post. And just as they had begun the match with an early strike, the Colliers repeated the dose at the start of the second period. Again it was Salmon and Ben Harmison who linked from a throw in and when the latter flicked on, Johnston at the far post, stabbed home. Ben Harmison continued to torment the visitors defence and five minutes later, he ventured down the left flank but when he pulled the ball back, Hornsby miscued his shot which was held by Gladstone. Then Harmison switched to the right and when he centred, Johnston missed out, pulling his shot across goal. However in the 73rd minute, Ashington went nap with Johnston completing his hat-trick. Substitute Lee McAndrew laid off a through pass from Scott for Johnston and the teenage striker whipped a superb right footer from 22 yards wide of Gladstone and inside the far post. Grant pushed around an effort from Waters and tipped away a free kick from substitute Jordan Jewson – but sandwiched in-between, the Colliers made it six. And it was a goal which had the home crowd on their feet as it was scored by Damien Stevens who suffered an horrific broken patella almost a year ago and who had been introduced as a 62nd minute substitute for Stephenson. Johnston hounded the Washington back line and when ‘keeper Gladstone - who was out of his box - played the ball hurriedly across, it fell into the path of Stevens who hooked it into an empty net from the edge of the area.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Salmon, Antony (Strafford 68 minutes), Buchanan, Scott, Sampson, Stephenson (Stevens 62 minutes), Johnston, B Harmison (McAndrew 67 minutes), Hornsby. Subs not used: Downey, J Harmison.


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