5

Sunderland RCA

v

1

Ashington AFC

Wed 8 Jan 2020 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away

Stadium

Meadow Park

Attendance

126

Referee

Matthew East

Kick-Off

19:30

By Brian Bennett

Ashington were swept aside by a red and white goals rush on Wednesday night as Sunderland RCA romped to a stunning 5-1 victory at LGV Park.

The Colliers had led at the interval courtesy of an outstanding goal from Kieran Brannen – his first for the club – but the hosts completely turned this game on its head by scoring five in the opening 17 minutes after the break. Both sides played out the final quarter hour with ten men for different reasons. RCA skipper Greg Swansbury was shown a straight red card by referee Matthew East for a poor tackle near the dugouts on Ashington substitute Lewis Robson. Robson – who had only been on the field two minutes – was carried off and as he had been the third change, it meant the Wansbeck side were unable to make a replacement. The Sunderland based outfit had a lot of possession throughout the first half but failed to carve out a clear cut opening. In the eighth minute, Stephen Gibson lost his footing and when Mark Davison crossed, Kyle Davis’s effort was held by ‘keeper Adam McHugh. Play immediately switched and Callum Johnston’s shot was similarly fielded by home stopper Robert Dean. On the quarter hour, Davis whipped the ball across the face of goal but Ashington – who struggled to piece anything together – defended resolutely. A direct run by Brandon Slater showed promise but he tried to find Johnston and the opportunity was lost. However in the 33rd minute - and against the general run of play - Brannen opened his account to put the visitors in front. He latched onto a cross field pass from Slater, took a good first touch and when he slowed down, somehow wriggled between another couple of defenders before slipping the ball under the advancing Dean from nine yards. Just prior to half time, Johnston got past Swansbury and delivered a fierce ball which went begging in front of the RCA goal. There was an explosive start to proceedings after the break as the home side completely turned the screw leaving the visitors shell shocked. Two minutes in, they drew level when McHugh spilled a cross from the right by Dylan Elliott and Carl Lawson tapped in the loose ball with ease. In the next minute, Johnston beat his marker on the flank and crossed but Brannen’s shot was directed straight at Dean. On 49 minutes, Elliott got the deftest of touches to glance home a cross from the left by Davison and three minutes later, Davison netted RCA’s third with a sumptuous free-kick from 20 yards into the top corner which left McHugh helpless. Davis had a headed effort disallowed for offside but sixty seconds later when a ball was played through, Ashington stopped anticipating an offside decision which did not come and Nathan O’Neill ran on to slot wide of McHugh. Just past the hour mark, RCA went nap. Elliott again turned provider, crossing for Davison to add his second of the night from close range.

Ashington: McHugh, Gibson (Kalthoeber 61 minutes), Gaffney, Edwards, Coppen, Bramley, Luke, Ross (Biwer 46 minutes), Johnston, Brannen (Robson 73 minutes), Slater

Subs not used: Scott, Williamson.

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