Ashington AFC




Sat 9 Nov 2019 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home


Woodhorn Lane




Darren Williams



By Brian Bennett

Ashington were glad to see the back of October with their only league success coming after a 2-1 win at Northallerton.

This month they have started with back to back defeats against Penrith and more latterly Shildon – and in both matches the Colliers can have no complaints over a nil points return. On Saturday they were 3-0 down at half time and despite an improved second half showing, were nevertheless shunted into the sidings by the Railwaymen.

What a difference a few hours can make. On Friday night, the game looked a non-starter due to the persistent rainfall over several days but the hard frost during the night saw a transformation and the encounter was given the green light early on Saturday morning.

However, the home side were caught cold as Shildon took the lead in only the fourth minute. Defender Stephen Gibson slipped on the turf which gifted ex Ashington striker Zak Atkinson a free run on goal. Atkinson’s effort was brilliantly repelled by ‘keeper Adam McHugh but the rebound fell to Billy Greulich-Smith who calmly stroked the ball into the net from the edge of the area, That was the signal for a well organised Shildon outfit to totally dominate the half. Three minutes later, a long kick by ‘keeper Shaun Newbrook was headed clear by McHugh as Atkinson closed in and from the follow up, a shot from Danny Craggs was cleared off the line by Gavin Caines.

Ashington just could not get out of their own half and in the 16th minute, Greulich-Smith added his and Shildon’s second, squeezing a right footer inside the post. The players had found conditions difficult under foot but the Wansbeck side were also contributing to their own downfall and a short back-pass by David Luke presented Atkinson with another opportunity. He was again denied by McHugh and it was midway through the period before the Colliers threatened for the first time when Dylan Williamson flashed the ball across the box with only a touch required. In the 36th minute, Shildon added a third following a corner on the right but it also resulted after a woeful piece of defending by the home side. Ashington had umpteen opportunities to clear but a scramble ensued and Danny Craggs slotted the ball between McHugh and the post.

Shortly before the break, Greulich-Smith came close to completing his hat-trick with a fizzing effort which went just wide then at the other end and with the last kick of the period, Jamie Hanson struck a drive narrowly over.

Shildon began the second half in identical fashion to the first with a goal – the pick of the bunch - in four minutes. Matthews had already side footed over but seconds later, Greulich-Smith dummied a low cross from the right by Atkinson and Craggs swept the ball wide of McHugh. Ashington were being carved open and on the hour, Craggs was denied a hat-trick as his effort struck Caines and went behind for a corner. In the 66th minute, a shot from 20 yards by Williamson crept in past the unsighted Newbrook which reduced the arrears and prompted a spirited finale from the Colliers.

Another shot from Williamson saw Marc Lancaster head straight into Newbrook’s hands then a run down the left by Shildon’s Matthews saw his drive smack against the post with the ball rolling into McHugh’s arms. In the 89th minute, Williamson carved out a chance for substitute Lee Scott but his shot was blocked by Newbrook. Scott was then narrowly off target before Williamson made it 4-2 in the second minute of stoppage time. Sub Lewis Robson whipped over a free kick from the left and Williamson made no mistake with a thumping header. *Before kick off, players, officials and supporters observed a minutes silence in memory of Armistice Day.

Ashington: McHugh, Kalthoeber (Robson 46 minutes), Lancaster, Biwer, Gibson (Gaffney 69 minutes), Caines, Williamson, Ross (Scott 65 minutes), Giles, Luke, Hanson

Subs not used: Price, Brannen.


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