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Morpeth Town

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Ashington AFC

Mon 28 Aug 2017 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away

Stadium

Craig Park

Attendance

426

Referee

Stephen Dial

Kick-Off

13:00

By Brian Bennett

Skipper Craig Scott headed a late goal which earned Ashington a deserved share of the spoils from Monday’s derby game against high fliers Morpeth Town at Craik Park. Scott met a precision corner from the right by Paul Antony in the 85th minute to power a downward header past Karl Dryden to level things up - after Joe Walton had given the hosts an early lead in the first period.

The Highwaymen went into the clash on the back of five consecutive wins in the league this season and also looking to extend a fabulous run of 16 successive league victories at Craik Park which started last October whilst the Colliers were unbeaten in four ENL games to date this term. In bright sunshine and humid conditions, an excellent crowd of 426 saw the pendulum swing one way then the other. Morpeth went ahead in the eighth minute at a time when Ashington were down to ten men. Stephen Forster swung over a cross from the right which was met by Joe Walton who steered the ball home. Before the restart, Ashington were forced to bring on Ryan Bell for James Harmison who had already left the field with a broken nose after an accidental collision. The Colliers’ first chance came in the 13th minute when Ben Harmison – who caused problems all afternoon – laid the ball off for Lee McAndrew but he found the side netting. Two minutes later, Harmison was in the thick of the action again, glancing the ball on in the area before he was caught late by Dryden but referee Stephen Dial ignored appeals for a penalty. Ashington had grown into the game and they went on to have an extended spell of dominance during which Dryden clutched an effort from Harmison. However, it was the ex Colliers ‘keeper who prevented a certain equaliser in the 24th minute. On this occasion Harmison met a centre from Ben Sampson but Dryden spread himself and blocked in fine style from point blank range. Jay Hornsby then supplied a cross where Sampson’s header was held by Dryden. But just as much as Dryden had kept his side in front, Conor Grant prevented a second for Morpeth when play switched in the 28th minute, the ‘keeper getting down well to tip a rasping drive from Chris Reid around the post. McAndrew went close then Dryden brilliantly tipped over a header from Scott following a corner by Antony. And it was Scott, back in his own defence who produced a great tackle to deny Liam Henderson after a lay off from Reid. The half ended with a chance falling to both sides. Dryden held a header from Wayne Buchanan after a cross by Sampson then Ben Sayer unleashed a 25 yarder which flew narrowly over. At the start of the second period, Reid hit the post with a header – then 60 seconds later, a cross by Sean Taylor saw Grant block from Reid and the ‘keeper somehow miraculously reacted to stop Henderson’s follow up on the line. Henderson and Walton had opportunities then at the midway point following a cross from the right, a drive from Walton thudded against the foot of the post. In the 72nd minute, Scott and Luke Salmon worked a one-two and the former’s half volley was blocked by Curtis Coppen. Substitute Michael Chilton headed over a cross from Taylor then with five minutes of normal time remaining, Ashington forced a corner on the right – and from it, Scott gleefully headed home. In the last minute of the 90, Ashington could have won it. Substitute Damien Stevens was through with only Dryden to beat but he fired a half volley over the bar.

Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster, Carson, Sayer, Coppen, Reid (Turner 50 minutes), Taylor, Graydon (Davison 69 minutes), Walton, Henderson (Chilton 75 minutes), Phillips. Subs not used: Fry, Carr.

Ashington: Grant, Strafford, Salmon, Buchanan, J Harmison (R Bell 9 minutes), Scott, Sampson, Antony, McAndrew (Pearson 64 minutes), B Harmison, Hornsby (Stevens 79 minutes). Subs not used: Downey, Christensen.

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