Photo: Rachel McDonald

By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC’s midfielders Karl Ross and Craig Spooner have both said that being on the score sheet for their home town club against Newcastle United under 23’s in the quarter final of the Techflow Marine Northumberland Senior Cup at The dwmedia Stadium was ‘something special.’

The game finished all square at 2-2 after the Colliers had fought back brilliantly from a 2-0 deficit to draw level as Ross netted with a header on the 70 minutes mark which was followed five minutes later when Spooner calmly steered the ball inside the far post. They were memorable moments for the duo – even though the Magpies went on to win the ensuing penalty shoot out.

Reflecting on the comeback, Ross said: “The goal was all about the ball which was played over by Max Cowburn who had just come on as a substitute. For me it was making contact with my head and looping it over the ‘keeper. There was a bumper crowd in and when the ball hit the back of the net all I heard was a mighty roar. I’ve never experienced that sort of feeling before but the fans were quality all the way through because they spurred us on.”

The 23 year old continued: “First half I thought we gave Newcastle a bit too much respect but in the second 45 minutes, we were the better team. After Craig (Spooner) got the equaliser with quarter of an hour to go, we could have nicked it. We had two clear cut opportunities which we should have been on the end of.”

Spooner said: “It was an unbelievable feeling when I tucked the ball away. On the night, we broke the record attendance for this stadium and to score in front of so many people was great. I didn’t think we started too well and the team talk the manager (Ian Skinner) delivered basically made us go out and give Newcastle a game and show them that we are a good footballing side. We played much better in the second half and got the two goals. We then had a few chances; they had a few chances and if we had been a bit more clinical we could have won it.”

Playing in front of 1357 spectators didn’t faze Spooner, also aged 23, who added: “You kind of switch off and concentrate on the game but you can still hear them (the fans) all the time but as soon as Karl (Ross) headed our first goal then I got the equaliser, the noise was something else. It was great and the adrenaline was pumping. Obviously to go out on penalties was unfortunate – but full credit to the lads who stepped up to take them.”

With Ashington’s home game versus North Shields pushed back to Tuesday January 25, the Colliers next fixture will be at The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday January 8 against Penrith (3pm kick-off).