Ashington AFC



Bishop Auckland

Sat 11 Jan 2020 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home


Woodhorn Lane




Stephen Dial



By Brian Bennett

Callum Johnston was Ashington’s match winner as the Colliers bounced back with a victory and claimed a notable scalp in Bishop Auckland at a windswept Woodhorn Lane ground on Saturday.

It’s been a season of transition for Ian Skinner and his squad and the campaign has been topsy-turvy results wise – but this was a merited success against a well organised side. There was concern over whether the match would get the green light from referee Stephen Dial due to the elements but the Gateshead official gave the go ahead.

The wind did recede during the first period but ironically Johnston’s goal – his ninth in all competitions which came just prior to the hour mark - was scored into the teeth of the wind. Home skipper Curtis Coppen won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to kick with the wind. The Colliers – who had suffered a 5-1 defeat against Sunderland RCA in midweek – made a confident and bright start and dominated the first 45 minutes. They ought to have gone into the dressing rooms at the interval with the lead too. In the third minute after build up play involving Dylan Williamson and Brandon Slater, the latter set up Dom Price but he shot wide from inside the six yards box. Williamson - causing Bishops problems with his pace – had a deep cross from the right pushed out by ‘keeper Nicky Liversedge then Coppen nodded a Ben Gaffney free-kick wide.

Marc Lancaster – handed a role in the centre of defence – made a crucial intervention to stop the threat of Andrew Johnson who would have been clear then a cross from Thomas Kalthoeber saw Johnston’s header grasped under the bar by Liversedge. Johnston went close with a free-kick from 30 yards but on the half hour, the visitors almost caught the home side out. A clearance from Liversedge went over the top of the Ashington defence and found Christopher Winn who was clean through one-on-one but his effort was superbly palmed away by advancing ‘keeper Adam McHugh and the in-swinging corner on the right by Bishops skipper Michael Hoganson clipped the crossbar.

Seconds later, Williamson reached the by-line and pulled the ball back only for Slater to miss the target. The final pass was Ashington’s downfall – on three occasions during the half they hit the ball across the face of the Bishops goal – then shortly before the interval, a corner on the right from Johnston dipped viciously and Liversedge was forced to back-pedal and tip over.

The second period began with Winn missing a clear opening inside the first 30 seconds. Lancaster missed the ball as he attempted to hook clear which allowed Winn a run on goal but his thunderous drive from 20 yards smashed against the bar. Ashington responded with a well worked move which ended with Liversedge grasping a shot from substitute Jamie Hanson who had only been on the field two minutes after replacing the injured Williamson.

The all important goal arrived in the 57th minute. Liversedge spilled a shot from Hanson and Slater hit the bar from the follow up. David Luke had a fresh air shot but Johnston made no mistake, lashing the ball into the back of the net. The game became more open and three minutes later, Hoganson struck a venomous low free-kick from 35 yards which McHugh did well to keep out.

The home stopper blocked Johnson after a ball by sub Kieron Parnaby and sandwiched in-between Liversedge claimed an attempted chip from Johnston. As Bishops poured forward and applied pressure in the final quarter hour, Ashington were forced to defend deep - but they did that manfully. Hoganson’s corners were posing a threat and from a flag kick on the right, the ball was cleared after an almighty scramble. Kyle Fryatt and Ryan Robinson went close then in the second minute of stoppage time another corner from Hoganson was cleared off the line.

Ashington: McHugh, Kalthoeber, Gaffney, Edwards, Coppen, Lancaster, Luke, Williamson (Hanson 52 minutes), Johnston (Taggart 86 minutes), Price, Slater

Subs not used: Bramley, Anderson, Scott


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