Ashington vs Sunderland RCA


Match Report

By Brian Bennett

Two late goals from substitute Ben Harmison saw Ashington preserve their 100 per cent record and stay top of the Ebac Northern League’s first division after victory over Sunderland RCA at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.

Both sides went into the clash fresh from 5-0 wins at the weekend – the Colliers taking the scalp of Crook Town and RCA with an away success at Penrith.

And it was the Wearsiders who threatened to put a spoke in Ashington’s unblemished record as they took an early lead through striker Mark Davison.

For the remainder of the half, the game developed into a one sided contest, as Ian Skinner’s side relentlessly poured forward – and the pattern for the second 45 minutes was identical.

RCA were well organised and they defended stubbornly and manfully – and it had begun to look as if visitors would repel anything which the home side threw at them –

and more so after ‘keeper Keaton Marrs had made a magnificent save from Robbie Dale just short of the half way point in the second period.

However, it was manager Ian Skinner who provided the key which unlocked the door. He introduced Harmison on 68 minutes and the Ashington skipper came up with a timely double in the final stages, equalising with ten minutes remaining then scoring the winner in the third minute of time added on.

But back to the first half where the visitors took a shock lead in the eighth minute.

Davison headed in from six yards but much of the credit should go to RCA skipper Kieran Charlton who supplied a superb cross from the left.

Ashington began to probe with Marrs taking a shot from Craig Spooner at the second attempt; Paul Robinson playing a one-two with Lee Mason but seeing his shot deflected for a corner and Dale trying his luck from 35 yards with an effort which flew wide.

A good move by the home side ended with Jordan Lavery blocking a goalbound strike from Spooner then another shot by Dale was not far away.

Andrew Cartwright struck a free kick straight down Marrs’s throat but in the 32nd minute, the full back showed great awareness and his lob from 50 yards flashed inches wide of the upright with Marrs beaten.

Briggs headed wide from a Cartwright corner but in a rare raid, the last chance of the period fell to the visitors with Dominic Moan lobbing just over.

The second half began with Dan Maguire finding Spooner who fired wide with a first time effort.

And the pattern continued as Ashington created chance after chance. Robinson and Jordan Summerly combined down the flank and when the left back delivered a first time cross on the half volley, both Mason and Briggs had shots blocked.

Briggs headed wide before a corner by Cartwright saw RCA clear after a scramble.

In the 65th minute, Dale received the ball from Maguire and cut inside but looked on as his left footer – arrowing towards the top corner – was brilliantly pushed away to his right by Marrs.

Maguire sliced wide then Harmison fired off target after a cross by Summerly.

RCA continued to defend in numbers and it always looked as if it would take something special to break them down.

And sure enough in the 80th minute, Harmison produced something out of the ordinary to level.

Dale found Maguire down the right and when the forward crossed into the danger zone, a clever back flick by Harmison beat Marrs and went into the back of the net.

Two minutes later, Briggs found Spooner whose shot was held by Marrs – but in the 93rd minute, a touch of class on the left wing by Dale saw his cross into the box headed gleefully home by Harmison for a deserved winner.


Date Time Competition Season Attendance
Tue 16/8/2022 7:30 pm Northern League - Division 1 2022-23 427


Woodhorn Lane
Woodhorn Lane, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9FW


RefereeAssistant 1Assistant 2
Charlie FordJack WhitfieldKeith Jobling