By Brian Bennett
Quality goals from Ryan McKinnon and Lee Mason saw Ashington return to winning ways on Saturday as they recorded a 2-0 win over Thornaby at Teesdale Park.
After only taking one point from two home matches against Newcastle Benfield and Heaton Stannington last week, the Colliers were desperate to get back on track – and they did just that on Teesside with a thoroughly deserved victory.
What was also an added boost for the Wansbeck side was that they kept their first clean sheet in five matches. The defence were solid and ‘keeper Karl Dryden didn’t have a shot to save but McKinnon and skipper Darren Lough were outstanding throughout.
The match itself was certainly not a classic with chances sparse but Ashington – without several players – took the game to their opponents from the start and forced a flurry of corners inside the opening ten minutes.
McKinnon put a left foot flick wide then after work by Craig Spooner and Jordan Summerly down the flank, the cross from the latter struck a defender and rebounded to Mason who taken by surprise, reacted instinctively but his header went over.
Liam Smith was heavily involved in the action, linking the play in the midfield for the visitors and when he supplied a cross, Spooner’s right footer from 14 yards was turned around by home ‘keeper Matthew Cassap.
It was ironic that a game lacking in quality but nevertheless dominated by the Wansbeck side should produce two goals of the highest standard.
Midway through the opening period, Ashington got the breakthrough their early probing deserved.
Andrew Cartwright swung over a corner from the left which was met at the near post by McKinnon whose thumping header bulged the net.
The second half was also an uninspiring contest until Mason effectively wrapped up all three points for his side in the 77th minute when he scored his eighth goal of the campaign.
Ben Sampson won the ball in midfield and advanced before slotting the ball through to Mason whose thunderous right footer crashed into the top corner giving Cassap no chance.
Ashington now have two home matches inside five days. They take on Whickham on Tuesday night (November 1) followed by a top of the table clash against Bishop Auckland on Saturday (November 5).
|Sat 29/10/2022||3:00 pm||Northern League - Division 1||2022-23||124|
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2|
|Matthew Morton||Anita Sygmuta||Robert Enderwick|