2

Ryton and Crawcrook Albion

v

4

Ashington AFC

Sat 19 Sep 2020 | FA Vase | Away

Stadium

Kingsley Park

Attendance

140

Referee

Thomas Wilson

Kick-Off

15:00

By Brian Bennett

Another nail biting finale – only on this occasion, Ashington came out the victor after two late strikes from Dean Briggs and Ben Harmison sent the Colliers through to the next round of the Buildbase FA Vase following a 4-2 win against Ryton & Crawcrook Albion at Kingsley Park on Saturday.

In all six matches which they have played to date, Ian Skinner’s side have been in the game in the closing stages. There has been drama to go alongside heartache too after losing late on in home matches against Newcastle Benfield and Thornaby as well as exiting the Emirates FA Cup on penalties at West Auckland. And on Saturday, the Wansbeck outfit had their noses in front but yet again were pegged back in the embers of the clash – albeit to a ‘wonder’ goal from Ryton & Crawcrook Albion substitute Owen Brearton – before a stirring rally got them over the line. The prize is a trip to Lancashire on October 10 for a clash against Nelson – whom they met in the competition two seasons ago when returning home with a 5-0 victory.

On Saturday, Ryton from the second division of the Ebac Northern League - who deservedly won 2-0 against Ashington in the League Cup at Woodhorn Lane last season – started the brighter and an early corner by Tyler Davis deflected off Max Emmerson to Joe Shepherd with the ball striking his knee and going out for a goal kick. The hosts were forced into an early change with Lee Richardson replacing the injured Matthew Law and the substitute was involved in the action minutes later when his header was superbly pushed up into the air by ‘keeper Adam McHugh from point-blank-range.

Similarly home stopper Josh Graham had denied a goalbound effort from Brandon Slater then Ben Gaffney found Briggs whose cross was intercepted at the near post by Graham. Ashington went close midway through the period when a corner on the left by Bobby Taylor picked out Briggs who got to the by-line but his shot was cleared off the line by Davis. Richardson headed over before Ben Harmison latched onto a free-kick by Taylor and turned but fired wide. On the half hour, the home side had a great chance when former Ashington midfielder Scott Gunn was through but saw his shot held by McHugh. However in the 36th minute, a lack of communication between Emmerson and McHugh led to the opener for Ryton. The pair got into a tangle as they left the ball for each other then got in each others way and Richardson took full advantage chipping into an empty net from the edge of the area.

But within two minutes the Colliers were back on terms through Emmerson who unleashed a low right footed drive from fully 22 yards which flew past a stranded Graham. Taylor, Briggs, Coppen and Harmison all had shots blocked as the half drew to a close but a more determined Ashington outfit stepped up the tempo after the break and on the hour - after Slater and Briggs had failed to cash in on opportunities - it was the former who put his side ahead. Taylor whipped in a free-kick from the right and when Slater got possession, he made no mistake lashing the ball into the net from 12 yards. In the 69th minute, Karl Ross found himself through but instead of pulling the trigger, opted to cross and the ball was cleared. Sub Max Cowburn delivered a pin pointed cross but Harmison directed his header into the ground then Thomas Kalthoeber cleared in the nick of time from Harry Outterside.

Ashington clearly needed a third to give themselves breathing space with the home side still in the contest and seven minutes from time, Ryton got a lifeline through sub Brearton who chested the ball down then struck a sumptuous right footed volley from 25 yards which sailed over the advanced McHugh and dropped into the back of the net. But within a minute, their celebrations were cut short when Ashington went back in front. Cowburn claimed the assist rolling the ball across for Briggs who from the edge of the area, caressed a right footer wide of Graham and inside the far post. Then came the Colliers first bit of luck this season when a thunderbolt from Briggs smacked against the underside of the bar and after bouncing down onto the line, fell straight into the path of Harmison who headed into an empty net.

Ashington: McHugh, Kalthoeber, Gaffney, Emmerson, Coppen, Bramley, Taylor (Cowburn 63 minutes), Ross, Harmison, Briggs, Slater (Cranston 81 minutes)

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

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