Ashington AFC

Sat 17 Nov 2018 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away


Dean Street




James Bancroft



By Brian Bennett

Ashington’s winless sequence goes on … but the Colliers nevertheless began a gruelling run of league matches in fine style on Saturday when they came away with a deserved point from their clash with Shildon.

It was in mid October with the 5-0 crushing over Nelson in the FA Vase which represented the last victory for Steve Bowey’s side who have played seven games since. However there was enough evidence in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Railwaymen to suggest that Bowey has got his side back on track. Overall it was the proverbial game of two halves. Ashington survived a quick fire scare to emerge the better side in the first period but couldn’t find the same rhythm after the break with Shildon having the upper hand. In recent games, one of Ashington’s failings has been to allow the opposition an early chance – and the pattern continued at Dean Street with ‘keeper Conor Grant clinging onto a drive from skipper Ben Trotter after a mere 44 seconds.

Billy Greulich-Smith glanced a header wide then in separate moves, Lee McAndrew and Chris Youldon flashed the ball across the face of the home goal following work by Jake Turnbull and Jack Butler respectively. In the 25th minute, Ashington took the lead with a brilliant goal from Zak Atkinson with the striker rewarded for tireless work rate. He charged down ‘keeper Shaun Newbrook’s attempted clearance with the ball spinning out to the left flank then Atkinson advanced into the area, cut inside a retrieving defender before rifling home right footed inside the corner for his ninth goal of the season.

Grant pushed around an effort from Aiden Heywood - but the half ended with the Colliers in the ascendancy. Four minutes after the break a big turning point arrived when Atkinson was through but squandered a marvellous opportunity, scuffing a left footer wide from the edge of the area. Youldon and McAndrew played a one-two with Newbrook clutching Youldon’s shot whilst at the other end, Danny Earl drove wide then Grant pushed out an attempt from Greulich-Smith.

Shildon levelled on the hour when skipper David Edwards was penalised for holding Heywood inside the area and referee James Bancroft pointed to the spot. Substitute Nathan Steel - who had only been on the field seven minutes - stepped up and confidently netted, sending Grant the wrong way. In the last half hour, the Railwaymen had greater possession without creating any significant and it was Bowey’s side who had two chances through Butler. Atkinson set up the first and Butler’s shot was goalbound until a home defender made a terrific block then debutant Karl Ross played the ball across for Butler who fired wide.

Ashington: Grant, Turnbull, McAndrew, Henderson, Caygill, Edwards, Youldon, Ross, Atkinson, Richardson, Butler

Subs not used: Bowey, Stephenson, Hornsby, McAlindon, Downey


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