Ashington AFC

Sat 17 Oct 2020 | FA Vase | Away


Victoria Park




Peter Fuller



By Brian Bennett

Ashington will travel to face North West Counties Premier League side Charnock Richard in the first round proper of this season’s Buildbase FA Vase a week on Saturday (October 31) after a comfortable 4-1 victory over Nelson in Lancashire on Saturday.

The result extended the Colliers unbeaten run to eight games and with no midweek fixture, it means they can fully focus on a tough week which lies ahead commencing on Saturday (October 24) with a home clash against Consett followed by the arrival of league leaders Hebburn Town to Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday (October 27) before the journey to Charnock Richard.

The clash at Nelson was a repeat of two seasons ago when the Wansbeck side triumphed 5-0 and in truth Ian Skinner’s side could have matched the result after cruising into a 4-0 lead midway through the second period. However Nelson – from the North West Counties League Division One North – never threw the towel in and deservedly got a consolation effort three minutes from the end of normal time. Max Cowburn who was unavailable for the midway 4-4 draw at Whitley Bay returned to the starting line up along with Elliot Tate and Jack Butler - and it was Cowburn who was involved early doors and who got Ashington off to a dream start with the opening goal. His long diagonal ball from right to left had seen Butler side foot narrowly wide on the volley from the edge of the area but in the ninth minute, Dean Briggs rolled a free-kick sideways and Cowburn - with minimal effort - left home ‘keeper Jack Lawrence helpless clipping a superb right footer from fully 25 yards inside the upright.

Nelson fired a warning in the 19th minute when Adam McHugh was forced to tip around an effort from distance by Jack Foster and from the resulting corner on the right, a header from Daniel Fagan was blocked by Colliers skipper Curtis Coppen. Ashington replied five minutes later, doubling their lead through Butler. Cowburn was again at the hub of the move and when he found Butler, the striker finished with aplomb firing left footed from 18 yards across Lawrence and into the back of the net. Kit Lloyd then brought the best out of McHugh when his effort - which was arrowing towards the top corner - was clawed over by the stopper. Ten minutes before the break, Ashington had a great opportunity to make it three when Briggs got to the by-line and pulled the ball back but Brandon Slater’s side footed shot was blocked by Lawrence.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Butler found Slater who lofted over before two quickfire goals from substitute Dan Cranston put the game to bed. The Gateshead man came into the action in the 57th minute – and two minutes later finished off a brilliant move which started at the back from McHugh. Ben Gaffney and Karl Ross then combined and when the latter played the ball through, Cranston slotted home right footed. Ashington drove on again with Ross opening up the Nelson defence to find Butler but he was thwarted by another block from Lawrence. However seven minutes after scoring his first, Cranston added his second.

Skinner had introduced Danny Anderson and the sub had an immediate impact as within seconds, his 20 yarder was parried by Lawrence with Cranston calmly tucking home the rebound. On 85 minutes, only a great save from Lawrence prevented the Colliers from going nap. Cranston fed Briggs who was through but saw his left foot effort blocked by the custodian. Despite trailing early, the Admirals had played some neat football in spells and they clawed a goal back through Fagan. A shot from Dion Holden was deflected behind and Ryan McLean’s corner from the right was headed in at the far post by Fagan.

Just before the game entered time added on, an effort from sub Seb Julian was cleared off the line by Thomas Bramley then with the last kick of the match, Briggs drove in a restart from the left touchline which was pushed out by Lawrence.

Ashington: McHugh, Tate, Gaffney, Emmerson (Luke 85 minutes), Coppen, Bramley, Cowburn, Ross, Butler (Anderson 66 minutes), Briggs, Slater (Cranston 57 minutes)

Subs not used: Kalthoeber, Scott, Grant (gk).


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