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Ashington AFC

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Goole AFC

Tue 1 Sep 2020 | FA Cup | Home

Stadium

Woodhorn Lane

Attendance

320 (Including Club Officials)

Referee

Ryan Morris

Kick-Off

19:45

By Brian Bennett

Ashington kicked off the season proper on Tuesday night at Woodhorn Lane with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Goole in the extra preliminary round of the Emirates FA Cup.

All of the goals came in the first half and after the break there were thrills and spills and a few anxious moments before Jack Butler’s goal - with virtually the last kick of the first 45 minutes – proved to be the winner to take the Colliers into the next round.

The first chance arrived two minutes in when Max Cowburn’s free-kick from the right was headed over by Dean Briggs. Ashington were causing their own problems and shortly afterwards, Thomas Bramley was forced to clear a dangerous looking cross from Nathan Keightley. However, on the quarter hour, the Colliers pushed forward again and pieced together a good move which ended with referee Ryan Morris awarding a penalty. Bramley, Briggs and Ben Harmison linked well and when the latter tried to round Mateusz Zaniewski, the ‘keeper upended him.

There were no complaints about the award from Goole and Cowburn confidently despatched the spot kick with precision, just inside the post. But the old cliché that a team is never more vulnerable than after scoring rang true as three minutes later, Reagan Ward was allowed a free header which he powered into the roof of the net from six yards following a left wing corner.

Astonishingly the visitors – who were a threat from set pieces all evening – could have gone ahead shortly afterwards from an identical flag kick but on this occasion, Ward’s header was hacked off the line. Play continued to be slick and after Briggs had cut inside only to curl an effort over, play moved to the other end and a neat one-two between Keightley and Ward saw the former lift the ball over the bar. After Anees Younis had had a shot blocked, Bramley found Cowburn whose early cross saw Harmison’s header thud against the base of the post and go wide. The centre forward flashed another effort off target before he claimed the assist as Butler put the Colliers back in front. Harmison flicked the ball on to Butler and there was no semblance of a chance – until the winger cut inside then outside and fired a low shot from 14 yards across Zaniewski and inside the far post.

Ashington were brighter at the start of the second half. Harmison met a Danny Anderson corner to steer a header goalwards which was spectacularly cleared off the line by Joshua Schofield then a left footer from the tall centre forward from 16 yards smacked against the upright. On the hour, Cowburn screwed a shot wide then another header from Harmison was flicked on by Max Emmerson where Zaniewski produced an unbelievable save.

The final quarter hour produced a glut of chances and remained on a knife-edge until the final whistle. Briggs had an audacious chip from 20 yards brilliantly clawed away by Zaniewski whilst home stopper Adam McHugh beat out an effort by Younis. Substitute Jason Kitchen fired inches wide following a free-kick then in the first minute of time added on, Butler had a golden opportunity to put the game to bed. He was put clean through and ran from inside his own half but faced by the advancing Zaniewski, his shot wide of the ‘keeper hit the post. Two minutes later substitute Oliver Maude had a chance but blazed over – and Ashington breathed a huge sigh of relief before booking their place in the next round.

Ashington: McHugh, Sampson, Lancaster, Emmerson, Coppen, Bramley (Gaffney 79 minutes), Cowburn (Slater 83 minutes), Anderson, Harmison, Briggs (Scott 90 minutes), Butler.

Subs not used: Kalthoeber, Luke, Ross, Grant (gk)

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