2

Ashington AFC

v

3

Thornaby

Tue 15 Sep 2020 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home

Stadium

The dwmedia Stadium

Attendance

300

Referee

Connor Scott

Kick-Off

19:30

By Brian Bennett

There’s no connection between Ashington Football Club and American singer Katy Perry. However, the Woodhorn Lane outfit have coincidentally made reference to the song which she released ten years ago - ‘The one that got away.’

Shell-shocked Colliers manager Ian Skinner even said afterwards: ‘I thought lightening couldn’t strike twice!’ All of this after Ashington - who had lost against Newcastle Benfield despite having numerous chances - were 2-0 up in this contest with half time approaching but eventually went down 3-2 against a Thornaby outfit who took full advantage of the Wansbeck side’s profligacy in front of goal. The opening half was not only dominated by Skinner’s side, it was littered with opportunities for them. Not only that but they played some scintillating football at pace which prompted their former striker and local radio pundit Paul Dixon - who was looking on from the stands - to say: “This is the best half hour of football I have seen this season – and I’ve seen a lot of games.”

For any neutral, it was a pulsating contest - yet one which in truth was feisty and which threatened to boil over on a couple of occasions. But it also had just about everything, including two penalty saves from home stopper Adam McHugh. Before kick off a cacophony of noise reverberated around The dwmedia Stadium as players, officials and spectators joined in a minutes applause as a tribute to former Ashington secretary Brian Robinson who passed away a few months ago. There was a lovely touch too when Brian’s wife Sharon – who stood with her family just behind the touchline - was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the home club.

Ashington set the pace and took the lead in the sixth minute when Dean Briggs latched onto a through ball and side footed goalwards. Thornaby ‘keeper Josh Mazfari thought the ball was going wide but it struck the inside of the post and hit the back of the net. Sixty seconds later, Ben Harmison fed Bobby Taylor who weaved inside and saw his shot deflected then touched over by the stopper. Ashington were in full flow going forward but twice within a minute, promising attacks came to nothing. First Max Emmerson and Thomas Kalthoeber combined to set up Briggs but his shot lacked power then Briggs and Dan Cranston linked and when the latter crossed, Harmison failed to make a proper connection. After that, the lively Briggs met a flick on from Harmison to go one way then the other but dragged a left foot shot wide. It was wave after wave of attack and when Kalthoeber and Taylor exchanged passes, the latter unleashed a shot which Mazfari found too hot to handle and although Harmison netted from the rebound, he was flagged offside. In the same minute – the 17th – David Luke crossed where Harmison turned on a sixpence but fired wide. Ten minutes later, Taylor’s effort beat Mazfari but thudded against the bar and when play switched, home ‘keeper Adam McHugh preserved his sides lead, saving with his legs to deny Lewis Murphy. On the half hour, a superb move saw Briggs sell a dummy to a defender before squaring the ball to Taylor whose shot stung the palms of Mazfari who pushed the effort over. A long free-kick by Curtis Coppen was glanced on by Harmison for Dan Cranston but the winger wanted a touch and the chance went begging. However in the 35th minute Ashington got a second through Harmison. Cranston claimed the assist with a lovely through pass and Harmison coolly lifted the ball past Mazfari. Thornaby came into the game in the final minutes of the half with McHugh blocking from Elliott Beddow but in the 44th minute, the Thornaby number two was upended in the area by Ben Gaffney. Referee Connor Scott pointed to the spot but Kallum Hannah’s penalty was brilliantly pushed away by McHugh. However from the resulting corner on the left, it was Beddow whose cross found Luke Drummond and the central defender headed inside the upright to reduce the arrears. Early in the second half, Taylor found Briggs but the midfielder couldn’t keep the ball down and it went over the bar. In the 57th minute, a low free kick from 25 yards by Taylor was creeping just inside the post until Mazfari made a superb save to his left. Ashington had a lucky let off in the 65th minute when Beddow made a surging run through and after going around McHugh and a defender looked a certain scorer until his effort was cleared off the line by Marc Lancaster. However four minutes later, Thornaby skipper Dale Hopson squeezed a shot between McHugh and the post which saw the visitors draw level. Harmison struck the post; Taylor fired just over and substitute Max Cowburn side footed over before in the 89th minute, Beddow again ventured into the box where he was brought down by Lancaster. Hopson took over the penalty duties but McHugh again guessed correctly to block the effort. However the rebound fell to Hopson who found the corner to complete a massive turnaround for the Teessiders and leave Ashington to reflect on ‘the one that got away.’ *On Saturday, Ashington go to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion in the Buildbase FA Vase.

 

Ashington: McHugh, Kalthoeber, Gaffney, Emmerson, Coppen, Lancaster, Taylor (Cowburn 84 minutes), Luke (Scott 84 minutes), Harmison, Briggs, Cranston (Slater 84 minutes). Subs not used: Tate, Ross

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