By Brian Bennett
Ashington lost their 100 per cent league tag but remain unbeaten in the first division of the Ebac Northern League after Brandon Longcake hit by a late equaliser for Carlisle City on Tuesday night.
The game was in stark contrast to Saturday’s ten goal thriller at Ashington when the Colliers crashed out of the Isuzu FA Vase to Billingham Town, with only a few chances throughout.
Indeed after five goals were scored inside the opening quarter hour last Saturday, it was the 14th minute before the first opportunity materialised at The Three Rivers Health & Safety Consultancy Stadium when Luke Salmon, arriving at the back post, headed wide a cross from the right by Thomas Kalthoeber.
With both defences resilient, it was the half hour mark when the next chance arrived and was a prelude to what was to follow as Lee Mason had a shot blocked with Paul Robinson being thwarted from the rebound by home ‘keeper Stephen Townsley.
But after a defender had made a timely interception to prevent a certain opener from Mason, Ashington edged in front two minutes before the break.
Dean Briggs floated a free kick into the penalty area and after Mason had seen another effort charged down, Robinson made no mistake as he hammered the loose ball inside the bottom corner.
The limited chances in the first period had all fallen to Ashington – and in the first minute after the interval, another came their way.
Skipper Briggs was put clean through in the inside left channel but he took a heavy touch which allowed the advancing Townsley to close him down and block the effort.
City fashioned a couple of opportunities which were on target with Robbie Ivison finding Jordan Holt whose shot was turned around by Dryden then Longcake – after wriggling inside the penalty area – drove wide.
It just wasn’t going to be Mason’s night as ten minutes into the half, he was denied a fourth time. Robinson and Salmon combined down the left and when the latter crossed, Mason got a good connection on the ball but was again foiled by a defender.
Dryden gathered a shot from Holt at the foot of the post before the home side drew level five minutes from time when a cross from the right was steered wide of Dryden by Longcake.
After defending well but conceding so late, it was frustrating for the Wansbeck side – but on the balance of play, the Cumbrians deserved a point.
|Tue 30/8/2022||7:45 pm||Northern League - Division 1||2022-23||122|
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2|
|Guy Campbell||Dan Forbes||Cameron Sealby|