By Brian Bennett
Ashington had to grind out a result after a hard fought tussle against Northallerton Town in their Ebac Northern League first division match at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.
Robbie Dale’s first goal in Ashington colours put the Colliers ahead but the North Yorkshire side drew level five minutes before the break through John Howard.
However, second half strikes from Karl Ross and Craig Spooner gave the Wansbeck outfit some much needed breathing space to see the game out.
Manager Ian Skinner had said after Saturday’s 6-0 hiding of Seaham Red Star that although it was a great start, supporters should not expect a similar scoreline with every match – and the boss’s comments were spot on after the visitors gave his side a far tougher test.
However, just like Saturday, Ashington dictated the pace and could have gone ahead as early as 70 seconds.
Lewis Suddick and Andrew Cartwright worked a short corner on the right and when the ball was played into the box, a vicious right foot volley by Dan Maguire was goalbound until it was brilliantly diverted away by ‘keeper Thomas Dawson.
The Colliers continued to pour forward and after Dean Briggs had been upended in the centre circle, they took the lead in the sixth minute when Dale and Maguire played a slick one-two before Dale stroked the ball inside the far corner.
Again Ashington totally dominated the opening half hour. Spooner hit the side netting then Maguire had a shot blocked.
But in the 18th minute, the home crowd were screaming for a penalty after Cartwright went to ground on the right hand side of the area but referee Richard Rowe was unmoved.
Three minutes later Briggs had an effort turned around by Dawson at the foot of the post
then seconds later, Briggs looked destined to add a second as he skipped past two challenges but saw his shot blocked and the follow up by Ross was deflected wide.
Ashington kept knocking on the door and on the half hour it was Dawson who came to his sides rescue as he saved from Lee Mason.
The action continued unabated. Two minutes later, John Howard ran through unchallenged but his tame shot was easily gathered by home ‘keeper Karl Dryden.
Within seconds, Mason netted but was flagged offside then Maguire fired narrowly wide of the upright.
Ashington pieced together their best move of the match in the 37th minute but it ended with Jordan Summerly skying the ball over then Yannick Aziakonou found Suddick who blazed wide.
The visitors had certainly come into the game and after Dryden had fielded a shot from Damian Giliga, they drew level after a neat move which ended with Howard’s left footed drive from the edge of the area beating Dryden inside his post.
On the stroke of half time, Briggs and Summerly combined to set up Suddick whose shot was held by Dawson.
In the 56th minute, Ashington regained the lead when Spooner slotted the ball through for Ross who finished neatly past Dawson.
Five minutes later, Northallerton served notice that they were not out of the contest as Michael Rae headed over from a free kick.
However, in the 70th minute, Ashington extended their lead following a corner on the right.
The ball fell to Spooner who advanced then blasted a right footer into the net with Dawson rooted to the spot.
After that it was all about game management for Ashington – which saw them home to record back to back wins.
|Northern League - Division 1