Photo: Keith Saint
By Brian Bennett
Jordan Lashley could be forgiven in believing his debut for Ashington against Whitley Bay on Saturday was a ‘walk in the park!’
Following his transfer from Bedlington Terriers on Friday, the Colliers newcomer scored twice and claimed an assist as the Wansbeck outfit comprehensively wrapped up a 6-1 win at Hillheads.
However, Ashington manager Ian Skinner had initially decided to ease Lashley in gently and had left him out of the squad – until a U turn on the morning of the match: “It’s a nice little story to be honest,” said the boss, “I put the squad out on Friday night and I spoke to Jordan and said I’m not going to put you straight in, I’m going to give you time to train with the squad and for you to get to know the rest of the lads and to gauge what it’s like. Then I was walking the dog in the park on Saturday morning and I had received a report on Whitley Bay from their midweek game at Newton Aycliffe. I thought about how I should approach the match and what would be the best outcome so I decided to bring Jordan in! I sent him a message telling him to bring his gear as I might have had a change of heart and he went from not being in the 16 to being in the starting 11.”
Skinner continued: “Jordan took a little while to warm into the game but he’s young; he’s quick and direct; he’s got good feet and can go past people and he’s got an eye for goal – and I’m pleased I changed my mind but I’m also delighted for him.”
Speaking after the match, 23 year old Lashley said: “On Friday night I wasn’t even in the squad but nevertheless I fully believed the lads would get the three points,” he said, “I got a text this morning to bring my gear and obviously found out before the game I was in the squad. I would have been happy to have been on the bench but when I was named in the starting line up I was very surprised. The boss (Ian Skinner) put his trust in me and I’m glad I repaid him with the two goals and we got the win.”
He continued: “Last week, I was just buzzing knowing of Ashington’s interest and that they wanted to sign me. I’m a local lad and I wanted to test myself. I was in the junior side at Ashington playing for them at the old ground at Portland Park and it’s great for me to sign for my hometown club. My whole family are delighted as well because they are big Ashington supporters so it’s a proud moment for them.” Lashley’s goals came in the 37th and 54th minutes as a rampant Colliers outfit brushed the Seahorses aside: “I was pleased with my debut but I could have scored a hat-trick,” added North Seaton based Lashley, “The first goal was the result of a link up with Liam Doyle on the right where he cut the ball back to me. The first few shots I had I went far post but on this occasion, I gave the ‘keeper the eyes and fired it in at the front post and luckily it went into the bottom corner. The second came after a break in play with a counter attack. I got the ball, ran forward and smashed it towards the far post and was glad when it hit the net. However, to notch two goals and claim an assist was unbelievable – and I couldn’t have dreamed about this last night.”