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Stockton Town

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Ashington AFC

Wed 11 Sep 2019 | League Cup | Away

Stadium

Coverall Stadium

Attendance

290

Referee

Matthew East

Kick-Off

19:45

By Brian Bennett

Goals from Nathan Mulligan and substitute Peter Bulmer secured a comfortable 2-0 victory for Stockton Town over Ashington in group C of the Mitre Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup on Wednesday night.

For the Colliers - despite a draw against Penrith and a victory over North Shields in their previous two matches – this was always going to be a tough ask as they came up against a side unbeaten so far this season. Five minutes gone and the Wansbeck side were already chasing the game following a disputed spot kick as Cieran Jackson went to ground inside the area. Referee Matthew East pointed for the award and Mulligan confidently beat Adam McHugh from 12 yards. It was certainly not the start Ashington had been looking for and within 70 seconds, the lead could so easily have been doubled as Jamie Owens galloped through the middle but his shot from the edge of the area - with McHugh only able to look on - clipped the outside of the post. The stopper denied Max Craggs before the Colliers, who had settled, came so close in the 27th minute through Damien Stevens. The striker attempted an audacious lob from 30 yards which beat ‘keeper Lee Roberts but cleared the crossbar by a matter of inches.

The final opportunity of a half reduced to a bare minimum of chances came just past the half hour mark when Craggs played the ball through to Mulligan whose effort was tipped around by McHugh. Early in the second period, David Edwards – playing his first senior game of the campaign – had a right footer taken by Roberts then following a slick move down the right, Owens was blocked by McHugh. Again chances were at a premium after the break until Bulmer added the second in the 71st minute.

The ball was played across from the right and Bulmer – only on the field five minutes as a substitute – swept home a low curling effort wide of McHugh. Game over thought all the spectators – only Ashington refused to cave in and three minutes later, Dylan Williamson, cutting in from the left, struck a brilliant effort from 20 yards which beat Roberts but rattled the underside of the bar and the ball was cleared. McHugh had performed with distinction all evening and in the closing stages pulled off two more top drawer saves from Stockton skipper Adam Nicholson and Owens.

Then in the final minute of the 90, substitutes Jamie Hanson and Harry Newton combined. The former played the ball through for Newton whose shot was pushed away to safety by Roberts.

On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Newcastle Benfield (3pm).

Ashington: McHugh, Robson, Gibson (Newton 80 minutes), Edwards, Coppen, Caines, Luke, Ross, Stevens (Hanson 71 minutes), Williamson, O’Reilly

Subs not used: B Anderson, Antony, Price.

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