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Penrith

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Ashington AFC

Sat 23 Dec 2017 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away

Stadium

Frenchfield Park

Attendance

77

Referee

Edward Turner

Kick-Off

15:00

By Brian Bennett

A determined Ashington side came away with a deserved share of the spoils following a 1-1 draw at Penrith on Saturday. Spanning several years, the formbook against the Cumbria side has not been too favourable for the Wansbeck outfit and they looked to be spiralling towards a narrow defeat until man of the moment Luke Salmon struck with his fourth goal in as many games to level deep into stoppage time.

That may have been harsh on a Penrith team who had led since the opening minute of the second period through lethal striker Martyn Coleman – but Ashington’s never-say-die attitude came to the fore again. Indeed it was the buoyant Colliers – who went into the game with three consecutive wins behind them – who began so brightly and in the third minute, skill on the right by Dylan Williamson led to the first chance with Salmon’s header being clutched by ‘keeper Stuart Dixon then the stopper comfortably held a low drive from the overlapping Lee McAndrew. Penrith’s first chance came in the 12th minute when a free-kick by Shaun Gardner was taken by ‘keeper Conor Grant then Kyle Downey exchanged a one-two with McAndrew but his effort hit the side netting. However after Ashington’s early dominance, the Bonny Blues grew into the game and on the half hour, ought to have taken the lead through Coleman. The big striker was clear and took the ball around Grant but with on open goal gaping, his rising shot deflected off the retrieving Jay Hornsby and went behind for a corner. Minutes later, Williamson sliced a cross when in a good position and just before the interval, the winger had another opening on the right but was wasteful driving wide of the far post. Sandwiched in-between, Coleman went close with a low right footer from the edge of the area then the centre forward set up a chance for Matthew Moynan who was narrowly off target. Twenty seconds inside the second half, the Cumbrians went in front after an early gift wrapped Christmas present. Shaun Henderson’s short back pass was seized on by Coleman who advanced into the box before driving the ball across Grant and inside the far post. Ashington’s riposte came two minutes later when Williamson crossed from the right but Salmon’s header thudded against the post. The action continued with Coleman wriggling into the box again and from a similar position from which he scored, his effort was taken by Grant. Play was switching from end to end and after Grant had punched away to deny Coleman, Salmon fed Damien Stevens whose shot was deflected behind. The Cumbrians had chances to seal victory through Coleman who after watching Grant push away his 30 yarder, unleashed an effort which smacked against the near post, went across the face of goal and was cleared. But Ashington kept pushing forward at every opportunity and after Ben Christensen had set up an opening for Stevens which the striker rolled wide, the equaliser came in the third minute of time added on. Yet again Williamson was the supplier of a cross from the right, sub Dale Pearson went to ground, Stevens dummied the ball and Salmon at the far post, gleefully drove in right footed.

Ashington: Grant, McAndrew, Hornsby (Bowey 82 minutes), Henderson, Christensen, Buchanan, Williamson, Downey, Stevens, Stephenson (Pearson 61 minutes), Salmon

Subs not used: McAlindon, C Scott, Carr.

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