Ashington AFC

Sat 2 Nov 2019 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away


The Frenchfield Stadium




Alex Clark



By Brian Bennett

Ashington crashed to a third consecutive league defeat when they went down against lowly Penrith at Frenchfields on Saturday.

The home side struck body blows at crucial times of the game – shortly before half time, on the hour and with ten minutes remaining – to sink a Colliers side who after turning in a decent first half showing, never got going after the break.

In the final analysis, the Cumbrians were worthy of their victory – despite the fact that they played out the final half hour with ten men after centre forward Gary Thompson had been red carded following an off-the-ball incident. The first period was of sub standard proportions – but the visitors could have made a dream opening involving two newcomers – Marcus Giles and Jack Desmond. Inside two minutes Lee Scott put Giles through but his right footer lacked power and was fielded by home ‘keeper Luke Miller then Dylan Williamson played the ball through for Desmond whose stinging drive was blocked for a corner. On the quarter hour, ‘keeper Adam McHugh was called into action pushing away a free kick from Shaun Gardner and then the same player headed over from a Max Brown corner from the left. Sandwiched in-between, Scott again released Giles but on this occasion, his effort was saved by Miller.

The game went stale until the 25th minute when Karl Ross found Williamson whose shot from 25 yards flashed narrowly over the bar. Surprisingly, the action gathered momentum in the closing stages of the half. Miller came to the rescue of his side again, thwarting Williamson before Desmond headed over a glorious chance from six yards after a cross by Scott. However Penrith took the lead in the 43rd minute and it was harsh on McHugh who had made two magnificent saves. Eventually full back Richard Faustino crossed for skipper Grant Davidson to nod wide of the stopper and inside the far post. Also in the final seven minutes, referee Alex Clark had issued four yellow cards – three for Penrith and one for Ashington.

On the hour, Adam Main came close to doubling the lead when his shot clipped the outside of the post but two minutes later, Thompson made no mistake. Ashington will feel aggrieved after defender Stephen Gibson was fouled in the build up but the incident was not spotted by the officials and Thompson placed a looping header over McHugh and into the far corner. Incredibly, there were fireworks in the next minute when referee Clark had no hesitation in pulling out the red card to dismiss Thompson who had tangled with Gibson. Penrith dug deep and even looked the better side with Ashington’s only threat coming from Giles whose cross went along the six yards box. In the 79th minute, the Cumbrians made it three.

Evergreen defender or midfielder Willie Paul won the ball on the left and when he played it through to Gardner, the striker whipped his effort wide of McHugh. In an action-packed final ten minutes, Ashington just could not find a way through. Thomas Kalthoeber had a goal disallowed for offside; Giles went past two defenders and fired a shot against the post; substitute Kieran Brannen had an effort which ‘keeper Miller somehow kept out and three penalty appeals – two for handball - were turned aside.

Ashington: McHugh, Robson, Gaffney (Davison 67 minutes), Antony, Kalthoeber, Gibson, Desmond (Brannen 67 minutes), Ross, Scott (Johnston 67 minutes), Giles, Williamson

Sub not used: B Anderson


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