Ashington AFC



North Shields

Sat 5 Jan 2019 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home


Woodhorn Lane




Stephen Dial



By Brian Bennett

Substitute Gary Day’s goal early in the second half was the decisive strike which not only extended North Shields’ impressive string of results but at the same time condemned Ashington to a sixth home league defeat of the season on Saturday.

Colliers player/manager Steve Bowey was hoping that his side would replicate the performance which earned them victory in their last home encounter against Sunderland RCA whilst attempting to rebuff the Robins claiming all three points when the Shieldsmen did a piece of first footing at Woodhorn Lane. Strangely the Wansbeck based outfit went into the game having the opportunity to register only their first double of the season having won 1-0 at the Daren Persson Stadium early on in the campaign.

In perfect conditions, it was the visitors who not only had far greater attempts at goal but also shaded the contest in footballing terms. They were quickly out of the blocks and inside the opening minute, overlapping full back Jordan Summerly drove across the face of the home goal with Aidan Hutchinson clearing. Ashington’s riposte was at the double -with young 18 year old Jack Butler having two attempts in separate raids but firing wide on both occasions. On the quarter hour, a lovely pass form Jack Cooper found Sean McRoberts but after cutting inside, his shot was held at the near post by ‘keeper Conor Grant. Four minutes later, Shields ought to have gone ahead when Craig Spooner burst through into the box and laid the ball off for Callum Johnston but the former Collier struck over from 16 yards.

Midway through the half, Ashington had another escape. McRoberts crossed from the right and Ryan Carr was allowed a free header in front of goal which he placed straight into the hands of Grant. Minutes later following a corner on the right by Paul Robinson. Carr found Johnston but again the striker fired off target. When play switched, Ashington – who had struggled to create – had an opportunity when Zak Atkinson turned and crossed where Bowey headed wide from ten yards. The visitors had been more cohesive with McRoberts, Cooper and Johnston all lively and on the half hour it was the former on a break who fed Johnston whose effort was repelled by Grant. Karl Ross fired a shot tamely at ‘keeper Greg Purvis but the half ended with Cooper dragging an effort wide after good work from Robinson.

For the start of the second half, Gary Day replaced the injured Johnston and in the 52nd minute, it was the substitute who broke the deadlock, driving inside the far post past Grant from 15 yards. Midway through as Ashington pressed, home club captain Wayne Buchanan - making his first full start after recovering from a leg fracture in August - met a Cunningham corner to head the ball downwards but it bounced over the bar.

Five minutes later, Lee McAndrew’s cross following a corner on the left was cleared off the line then Cunningham lifted the ball over after work by Chris Youldon who was making an impact after coming on as a substitute. Shields were looking dangerous on the break and in the 78th minute, only a flying save by Grant denied McRoberts. However with a minute of the 90 remaining, Spooner ought to have put the game to bed. McRoberts again broke down the right but when he laid the ball off, Spooner lashed over from close range. Ashington went downfield and almost snatched a leveller when Cunningham put Butler through but the youngster hit the side netting. 

Ashington: Grant, Turnbull, Hutchinson (Cunningham 53 minutes), Henderson (Stephenson 81 minutes), Caygill, Buchanan, McAndrew, Ross, Atkinson, Bowey (Youldon 63 minutes), Butler

Subs not used: Smith, Hanson

North Shields: Purvis, Spooner, Summerly, Hall, McManus, Hughes, McRoberts, Cooper (Ormston 73 minutes), Johnston (Day 46 minutes), Carr, Robinson (Skivington 90 + 1 minutes)

Subs not used: Cunningham, McDonald.


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