Ashington AFC

Sat 8 Dec 2018 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away


Belle View Stadium




Derric Wade



By Brian Bennett

Two second half goals inside five minutes from Consett’s Matthew Slocombe and Michael Sweet sent Ashington spiralling to their eighth league defeat of the season at a bitterly cold Belle View Stadium on Saturday.

The win kept the Steelmen joint top of the Ebac Northern League first division table alongside Dunston UTS whilst for the Colliers it was the same old story. Steve Bowey’s side have faced four of the top six over the past few weeks and won many accolades for their general play – but sadly this latest setback was their 11th competitive game without a victory. Striker Zak Atkinson, who had hit the woodwork in the previous encounter against Dunston, again went close, striking the post and crossbar in separate incidents in either half as Ashington - brimful with determination - desperately tried to unlock the door. But then with 20 minutes remaining, Bowey’s side switched off at a free kick 22 yards out. Danny Craggs’s effort thudded against the underside of the bar and as the Colliers stood still, Slocombe headed the ball into an empty net. Substitute Sweet fired wide of the far post before he sewed up the result in the 77th minute. Glenn Caygill’s challenge on sub Richard Juul saw referee Derric Wade point to the spot and Sweet send Conor Grant the wrong way with a firmly struck penalty. Game over – only in the final minute of the 90, home stopper and former Ashington ‘keeper Kyle Hayes, was forced to dive full stretch to his left to deny Jack Butler following a cross from sub Jake Cunningham. From the start it had been a low key affair with the first opportunity arriving in the tenth minute as Gez Richardson, Atkinson and Butler combined with the latter firing well wide. Hayes pocketed a 25 yards drive from Chris Youldon before Consett threatened for the first time with Darren Cornish’s effort taken at the second attempt by Grant. Shortly afterwards, Darren Holden found Cornish whose shot was tipped around by the ‘keeper then Luke Carr narrowly missed the target from distance. Full back Aidan Hutchinson - looking solid on his Ashington debut following his transfer from Seaham Red Star – sent Butler away down the left but the move ended with Butler dragging his effort across the face of goal. Home skipper Craggs saw his shot whistle just wide then seconds before half time, the hard working Atkinson harassed Hayes and when the striker won possession, looked on as his right footer thudded against the base of the post. Early in the second half, a free kick by Carr went just over – but Ashington’s riposte was to lay siege on the home goal with Hayes diving to push around from Atkinson; Butler inches wide with a sizzling effort; a shot by Atkinson deflected for a corner and from McAndrew’s resultant flag kick on the left, a close range shot from Atkinson crash against the bar. Grant made a terrific block to deny Carr then following a well constructed move, Youldon struck a left footer wide. Slocombe broke the deadlock and when Sweet added a quick fire second, Ashington’s afternoon of high hopes quickly evaporated.

Ashington: Grant, McAndrew, Hutchinson, Henderson, Caygill, Stephenson, Youldon (Cunningham 75 minutes), Edwards (Bowey 86 minutes), Atkinson, Richardson, Butler

Subs not used: Malone, Buchanan, Armstrong


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