3

Guisborough Town

v

5

Ashington AFC

Sat 12 Jan 2019 | Ebac Northern League Division One | Away

Stadium

King George V Ground

Attendance

331

Referee

Helen Conley

Kick-Off

15:00

By Brian Bennett

Ashington put a difficult week aside - which saw the resignation of manager Steve Bowey - to turn in a terrific five star showing culminating in them securing only a second win in 34 years against Guisborough at the KGV Stadium on Saturday.

Jack Butler took his tally of goals for the season to 12 as he led the way with a magnificent hat-trick whilst Chris Youldon and Wayne Buchanan also netted with excellent strikes as the Colliers – under interim manager Ian Skinner – were worthy winners.

After taking over the reins on Monday night, there had been much for Skinner to negotiate in a short space of time and the boss admitted afterwards that it had been his ‘hardest ever week in football.’ He spoke to all the players and after losing striker Zak Atkinson to Shildon, bolstered the squad by signing former midfielder Ben Sampson, Callum Tait and his newly named assistant Paul Antony.

And after making an appalling start as they conceded within four minutes from a set piece, Ashington battled back to turn the tables big style. The evergreen Brian Close was granted a free header to net from Joe Ferguson’s in-swinging corner then Ferguson was not far away from doubling the lead with a 22 yards free-kick. It was looking grim for the Wansbeck side who looked decidedly out of sorts – but all of that changed when they got their second wind which resulted in an equaliser on 13 minutes from the impressive Jack Butler. The striker latched onto a through pass from Sampson and although his initial shot was half blocked by ‘keeper Jordan Nixon, Butler ran onto the rebound to slide home. All of a sudden as if shocked by the score, the home support went silent and the remainder of the half was dominated by the visitors.

Midway through, the Colliers pieced together a great move and when Lee McAndrew’s cross was only half cleared, Karl Ross’s effort was pushed over by Nixon. Jake Turnbull drove wide then on the half hour, Ashington ‘keeper Conor Grant made a smart block from Close after a pass from substitute Carl Lawson. Then with three minutes of the half remaining, a lovely defence splitting pass from Ross sent Butler through and he made no mistake applying a neat finish after rounding the advancing Nixon. In stoppage time, Lawson rattled the bar after a ball had been played into the box but the visitors nevertheless went into the interval deservedly 2-1 ahead. They swiftly regained their momentum after the break too and eight minutes in, Chris Youldon cut across the 18 yards box from the left and after evading three challenges, rifled home a superb third wide of Nixon.

Tony Stephenson and Butler were off target with further efforts before the latter played the ball through for Turnbull who was denied by a brilliant parry from Nixon. Midway through, Ashington widened the margin to 4-1 with a rare goal from club captain Wayne Buchanan. Stephenson dinked a free-kick into the box where Buchanan – celebrating his 37th birthday – soared before sending a bullet-like header into the corner. Guisborough refused to lie down and six minutes later, Mark Robinson reduced the deficit with a left foot effort from the edge of the box.

The pressure from the hosts continued but Ashington defended stoically and on a couple of occasions put their bodies on the line to blockout the danger. Moving to the other end, the Colliers looked a threat with every attack and twice in as many minutes, Nixon kept his side in the contest by denying Butler. However in the 88th minute, Butler completed his hat-trick. He won the ball from a tackle with a home defender on the half way line then advanced before side footing past Nixon. In the second minute of time added on, Guisborough pulled it back to 5-3 after neat play when Mason McNeill drove in from a right wing cross. 

Ashington: Grant, Henderson, McAndrew, Ross, Caygill, Buchanan (Tait 83 minutes), Stephenson (Antony 86 minutes), Sampson, Butler, Youldon (Cunningham 88 minutes), Turnbull

Subs not used: Hanson, Bell

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