Ashington AFC



Billingham Town

Sat 26 Sep 2020 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Home


Woodhorn Lane




Graeme Hopper



By Brian Bennett

The upsurge continues …… as Ashington topped off a terrific week with a 4-1 thumping over Billingham Town at a windswept dwmedia Stadium on Saturday.

The Colliers – who had failed to take a point from their opening three league fixtures – were forced to come from behind but their win was fully deserved against a Teesside outfit who were reduced to ten men in first half stoppage time when midfielder Daniel Boyle was sent off by referee Graeme Hopper following a tackle.

In the end the margin of victory could have been greater but manager Ian Skinner was merely delighted with the win - and after the 4-2 result against Ryton in the Buildbase FA Vase last weekend backed up by a convincing 2-0 success over Penrith in midweek, it was smiles all round.

Ashington had the first opportunity in the 11th minute when Bobby Taylor picked up a wayward pass from a Billingham defender. Taylor found Dean Briggs whose shot was deflected into the path of Ben Harmison who dragged his effort narrowly wide of the post. On the quarter hour, Max Emmerson played a short free-kick to Taylor and the wingers 25 yarder flashed just wide. However Town winger Alex Bruton was proving to be a thorn in Ashington’s side and twice in seven minutes, his skill and pace saw him upended by tackles inside the area by Thomas Bramley and Thomas Kalthoeber respectively with Mr Hopper pointing to the spot on both occasions.

From the first penalty award, Adam McHugh made a great save to his left to deny Christopher Dickinson but from the second, skipper Danny Earl sent the stopper the wrong way to put his side in front.

However, the lead was short-lived as the Colliers were back on terms within a minute. Briggs found Ben Gaffney and when the full-back played the ball into Harmison, the striker turned neatly and from twelve yards fired into the far corner. A centre by Taylor went across the face of the Billingham goal then Briggs had an effort cleared off the line.

McHugh was called into the action to tip away from Bruton and before the interval, Briggs was not far away with a restart from 22 yards. Ashington substitute Ben Sampson was then put through by Taylor but saw his effort pushed out by ‘keeper Lewis McDonald.

In stoppage time, Boyle saw red - and Ashington drove on at the beginning of the second half. Harmison had a shot blocked on the line then Brandon Slater blasted over from the edge of the area. However the hosts hit a timely quickfire double with goals either side of the hour mark. Harmison forced a corner on the left and Briggs’s flag kick was met by Bramley who powered home a majestic header from six yards.

The Colliers made it 3-1 when a free kick by Taylor led to an aerial challenge with the ball breaking to Briggs and the midfielder advanced to his left before unleashing a left footer from 16 yards into the bottom corner wide of McDonald. Slater and Taylor combined to set up Emmerson who was off target from 20 yards but shortly afterwards – in the 72nd minute – Ashington added a fourth. Sampson had got to the by-line on numerous occasions and when he repeated the feat and pulled the ball back, Harmison slotted in for his second of the match. After that, the home side had chances to go nap as sub Dominic Joynes cleared off the line to deny Taylor; McDonald pushed out a goalbound effort from Karl Ross then skipper Curtis Coppen played the ball into Harmison who lifted the ball over.

Ashington: McHugh, Kalthoeber (Sampson 32 minutes, Scott 75 minutes), Gaffney, Emmerson (Anderson 83 minutes), Coppen, Bramley, Taylor, Ross, Harmison, Briggs, Slater

Subs not used: Cranston, Grant (gk)


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