Ashington AFC



Morpeth Town

Tue 18 Aug 2020 | Friendly | Home


Woodhorn Lane




Darren Williams



By Brian Bennett

In the end, it all boiled down to an injection of fresh legs from a plethora of substitutes as well as extra quality - after two strikes in as many minutes in the closing stages gave Morpeth a 2-0 victory over Ashington in this behind-closed-doors friendly at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.

Andrew Johnson - one of the subs, who needs no introduction to Ashington supporters - broke the deadlock in the 80th minute with a trademark effort which took a deflection on its way and left McHugh helpless before finding the net. And Johnson was involved again as the Highwaymen doubled their advantage shortly afterwards. The ex-Collier rolled the ball into the path of Liam Henderson who from 16 yards, drove a low effort across ‘keeper Adam McHugh and into the bottom corner. Yet for a good hour, the Colliers didn’t play second fiddle – they thoroughly deserved to be on terms. Ian Skinner’s side gave every ounce of energy as well as playing some good constructive football into the bargain particularly in the first period as they locked horns with their visitors who are higher up the footballing pyramid. Indeed, only two minutes in and Bobby Taylor fired wide of ‘keeper Dan Lowson after receiving from Jack Butler. Full back Thomas Kalthoeber had an opportunity but saw his shot loop up off a defender and Lowson claimed then Butler and Ben Harmison combined to set up Taylor whose effort was deflected behind. But on the quarter hour, it was the visitors who went even closer as Jack Foalle met a cross from the right to direct a header which thudded against the crossbar. And it was only a superb clearance off the line by defender Tom Bramley which denied Ryan Hutchinson after he had met a corner on the left from Ben Sayer. Ashington got their second wind and when Danny Anderson found newcomer Max Cowburn, the winger delivered a great ball in the box which went across the face with only a touch required. Six minutes from the break, the energetic Butler produced a run down the left and when he crossed, Cowburn was not far away with a volley from eight yards. Cowburn returned the compliment to Butler minutes after the start of the second period but the ex Blyth Spartan’s forward lashed over. Just shy of the hour mark, a cross by Connor Oliver led to referee Darren Williams awarding a penalty for a tug in the box but McHugh made a brilliant save diving to his left to deny Oliver from the spot. Ashington built again through Dean Briggs and Marc Lancaster and when the latter crossed, Max Emmerson dragged his shot wide. Morpeth made seven changes - and upped the tempo immediately. Chris Reid got to the by-line and pulled the ball back but Henderson shot wide. Johnson cut inside from the left and after McHugh had blocked his shot, the follow up from Henderson was deflected off target. A trialist for Morpeth headed wide before Bramley was only inches away with a back-header from a Briggs free-kick. Then came the final ten minutes, which brought the two goals and sealed victory for the Highwaymen.


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