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Billingham Synthonia

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Ashington AFC

Thu 19 Apr 2018 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away

Stadium

Norton Sports Complex

Attendance

61

Referee

Terry Fletcher

Kick-Off

19:45

By Brian Bennett

Dale Pearson scored a hat-trick – his first for Ashington – as the Colliers went on a goal scoring spree against Billingham Synthonia at the Norton Sports Complex on Thursday night.

Pearson looked razor sharp and caused all sorts of problems as the Wansbeck side – who cruised into a 5-1 lead by the interval – showed more intensity than in their previous outing which culminated in a 2-0 defeat against Ryhope CW 72 hours earlier. However the Teesiders - already relegated - never threw in the towel and fought until the final whistle. Ashington player/boss Steve Bowey had told his players in the wake of Monday’s reverse that ‘goals change games’ – and he must have been pulling his hair out in the dugout as his side frittered away two glorious opportunities in the opening stages.

With only 62 seconds gone, Lee Scott put Tony Stephenson through but his touch was too heavy and the ball drifted out for a goal kick. Then a corner by Lee McAndrew saw Shaun Henderson’s goalbound effort blocked and Scott also denied with skipper Wayne Buchanan heading wide from a second flag kick by McAndrew. However, Ashington went ahead in the sixth minute when Pearson’s searing pace saw him break through the home defence and finish well tucking his shot wide of ‘keeper James Dawson.

The Colliers then had two penalty claims turned down inside a three minutes spell by referee Terry Fletcher, the first for a handball shout; the second after Stephenson had gone to ground following a challenge. Nevertheless, in the 17th minute Jake Turnbull marked his return to the side with a superb second. He coolly nodded the ball down, went through and applied a neat finish into the bottom corner.

By the mid way point in the half, Pearson had struck again. Luke Salmon was the provider and Pearson did the rest, skipping through before burying an effort inside the post. Pearson could have completed a treble in the 28th minute following a one-two with Turnbull from the half way line but he scuffed his shot with Dawson gratefully collecting. Two minutes later, Synners reduced the deficit when Benjamin Jackson cut in from the right and fired the ball wide of ‘keeper Conor Grant. Ashington stepped on the gas again to stretch their lead to 5-1 with two goals in three minutes.

In the 32nd minute, Salmon burst forward and his pile driver was parried by Dawson with the stopper also denying Stephenson from the rebound. The ball clipped the post, struck Billingham defender Anthony Verity and crossed the line. Then the impressive Salmon charged through and when he squared the ball, Lee Scott swept home from the edge of the area. Bowey replaced Henderson for the start of the second half and two minutes in, Salmon laid off a cross by Turnbull to the sub who lashed narrowly over from 25 yards.

In the 53rd minute, Pearson claimed his hat-trick with a sublime finish. Turnbull was again prominent in the build up as he picked up possession following Dawson’s headed clearance and passed to Pearson who placed a left footer inside the corner. Scott and Stephenson missed further chances for Ashington whilst in the 72nd minute, Grant dived to his left to keep out a rasping 25 yards free kick by Matthew Osmond.

Ashington: Grant, McAndrew, Hornsby, Henderson (Bowey 46 minutes), Christensen, Buchanan, Turnbull, Stephenson, L Scott (Stevens 82 minutes), Salmon, Pearson

Subs not used: Edwards, C Scott, Glasper (gk).

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