Whitley Bay



Ashington AFC

Sat 14 Dec 2019 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away


Hillheads Park




David Pill



By Brian Bennett

Lewis Orrell scored a late winner for Whitley Bay on Saturday which sent visitors Ashington spiralling to a sixth consecutive league defeat.

Orrell’s right footer took a deflection off Colliers skipper Curtis Coppen to leave ‘keeper Adam McHugh helpless and was the final twist in a contest which see-sawed one way then the other. The scoreline suggests a thriller and the second half - played partly in atrocious wintry weather conditions of driving sleet and snow - was certainly a lot livelier than a stagnant first period which had been played at a sedate pace and was more akin to a pre season friendly workout.

For in-form Whitley - who had pulled off a tremendous victory over one of the promotion favourites Hebburn Town in midweek – Orrell’s clincher added to their impressive run but the final outcome was harsh on an Ashington side who had given a spirited showing in the second 45 minutes which warranted a share of the spoils. The Wansbeck side made inroads immediately from the kick off as Marcus Giles got to the by line but his low cross was pouched by home 'keeper Dan Lister. However, Ashington had a let off in the fourth minute when the Seahorses should have got their noses in front.

Michael Annang-Colquhoun latched onto a long clearance but passed up on a shooting opportunity opting to square the ball unselfishly to Brad Hird who missed the target. Two minutes later, Connor Smith stung the palms of McHugh who was forced to turn his drive from 25 yards around the post then on the quarter hour, a timely challenge by James Harmison on Colquhoun proved vital. Midway through, Thomas Kalthoeber met a cross from Ben Gaffney and his effort was deflected behind from a corner. Ben Sampson floated the ball over but a header from David Edwards was directed straight into Lister’s midriff. Whitley broke from another Ashington corner but a chipped shot from Colquhoun was held by McHugh.

However in the 36th minute, the home side went in front after moving the ball from left to right. The overlapping Smith advanced to whip a drive across McHugh and inside the far corner. Before the interval, Hird was just off target with a header and Ashington also survived a goalmouth scramble - then in the opening minute of the second period, McHugh brilliantly pushed away an overhead kick by James Martin which was goalbound.

Amid awful conditions, Ashington levelled in the 55th minute. A long searching pass from Harmison went over the top of the bay defence and Giles applied a neat finish, lashing the ball past Lister. Two minutes later, Sampson - on his recall to the side - had a shot deflected behind for a corner and his in-swinger deceived everyone including Lister to creep inside the far upright. But the lead lasted a mere five minutes as Colquhoun met a cross from the right and applied a neat finish to level at 2-2. After Orrell had fired over at one end, substitute Callum Johnston did likewise at the other before Sampson - in the thick of the action - had a long range effort fisted out by Lister then the midfielder had a header from a Kalthoeber cross held by the Bay stopper. With ten minutes remaining, Orrell fired a warning with a drive which went narrowly wide but four minutes later, the same player accepted a pass from Martin and smashed another effort which found the net via a cruel deflection off Coppen. Whitley could have sealed it when a rare error by Coppen put sub Jake Martindale clear but his shot was superbly blocked by McHugh. In the dying seconds, Sampson swung over an inviting cross from the right but Johnston - arriving at the far post - just failed to connect.

Whitley Bay: Lister, Smith, Martin, Anderson, Lowery, Bexton, Orrell, Robinson, Hird (Martindale 62 minutes), Shepherd (Proctor 65 minutes), Colquhoun (Kerr 84 minutes)

Subs not used: Davison, Salmon

Ashington: McHugh, Kalthoeber (Slater 79 minutes), Gaffney, Gibson, Coppen, Harmison (Hanson 88 minutes), Luke, Edwards, Scott (Johnston 59 minutes), Giles, Sampson

Subs not used: Robson, Ross


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