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Whitley Bay

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Ashington AFC

Sat 27 Oct 2018 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away

Stadium

Hillheads Park

Attendance

341

Referee

Martin Conroy

Kick-Off

15:00

By Brian Bennett

Ashington bounced back after being stunned by their Cup exit in midweek against West Allotment Celtic, to claim a well deserved share of the spoils against Whitley Bay at Hillheads Park on Saturday.

Following the Techflow Marine Northumberland Senior Cup 5-1 thrashing, Colliers boss Steve Bowey had stated that he was ‘embarrassed’ by his sides performance – but after Saturday’s 1-1 draw he said: “I wanted a reaction from the players after the display and defeat against West Allotment Celtic – and I got one. It was a proper gritty showing today with loads of desire and a will to win a game of football and credit to the lads for responding in the way they did after going a goal behind shortly before half time. Whitley will be happy with the outcome but if I’m being a little bit biased, I thought that we probably shaded both the first 45 minutes and the game overall.”

Ashington’s performance against Ebac Northern League second division side West Allotment on the artificial surface at Druid Park had been abject to say the least - and the Colliers could so easily have found themselves trailing after only 30 seconds on Saturday. They were undone by a swift one-two down the right with skipper Peter Glen-Ravenhill squandering a golden opportunity as he fired over when well placed. The Wansbeck outfit eventually settled and in the 24th minute with their first real threat, only the width of the woodwork denied them the opener. Lewis King was the provider of a through pass for Zak Atkinson whose effort from the corner of the six yards box beat advancing ‘keeper Chris Bannon but smacked against the base of the post and was cleared by Gavin Caines. Ashington were in a rhythm and on the half hour, Lee McAndrew turned on a sixpence to deliver a brilliant cross from the right which was superbly headed off the line by Craig McFarlane with Bowey poised to capitalise.

Atkinson shot across the face – but in the 39th minute and against the run of play - the Seahorses edged in front. Kieran Brannen’s left footer saw ‘keeper Conor Grant move to his left, but the ball took a deflection and found the middle of the goal leaving the stopper stranded.

Ashington replied two minutes later from a Shaun Vipond free kick when Atkinson’s header struck a Bay defender and went behind for a corner. Six minutes after the interval, Ashington supporters gasped when King’s back-pass stretched Grant inside the area, the keeper only just reaching the ball with his right boot then Glen-Ravenhill’s sweetly struck free-kick from 20 yards went narrowly wide with Grant rooted to the spot.

At the other end, Bannon held efforts from Bowey and Chris Youldon but on the hour, the home custodian had no chance of preventing the equaliser. Matty Wade’s sweeping pass from midfield to the right flank found substitute Sam Norris – who had only been on the field two minutes – and he laid the ball on a plate for the inrushing Atkinson who lashed home. Ashington were now firmly in the ascendancy with chances being squandered by Bowey, Vipond, King and Atkinson but the Bay - led by ex Collier Luke Salmon - were a threat on the break.

And it was after another adventurous run by Salmon which carved out a chance with Dan Taggart and Liam Armstrong competing for the ball which went just past the post. In the closing stages, the Seahorses thought they had got their noses in front when they put together a classic move which saw substitute Olly Martin hook home on the volley but their celebrations were cut short when the assistant had his flag raised for offside and the ‘score’ was ruled out.

Former Bay midfielder Youldon then made a run across the area and fed substitute Jake Cunningham who struck an effort across goal.

Two minutes into stoppage time Luke Taylor made a late challenge on Cunningham - which was totally out of context in a well fought game – and the Bay defender was promptly shown the red card by referee Martin Conroy.

Whitley Bay: Bannon, McFarlane, Cooper, Anderson, Taylor, Caines, Glen-Ravenhill, Salmon, Taggart (Ramsey 77 minutes), Ardelean (Martin 63 minutes), Brannen

Subs not used: Walton, Christensen, Redford

Ashington: Grant, King, Hornsby, Vipond, Caygill, Armstrong, McAndrew (Norris 59 minutes), Wade, Atkinson, Bowey (Cunningham 79 minutes), Youldon

Subs not used: North, Henderson, Glasper (gk).

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