By Brian Bennett | Photo Gallery: Ian Brodie
Dean Briggs scored a late winner at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night to give Ashington their eighth win from nine matches which consolidated their second from top spot in the first division of the Ebac Northern League.
Briggs – a 76th minutes substitute – netted with a cool right footer from the edge of the area which found the corner of the net after excellent work by fellow sub Paul Robinson.
In truth although they left it late to break down a stubborn and well organised Carlisle rearguard, it was nothing more than the Colliers deserved on a wet night in Wansbeck.
The home side dominated proceedings and took the game to their Cumbria opponents from the off but it was beginning to look as if Carlisle’s game plan would see them leave with a point – until Briggs came up with the all important strike.
Early on in the contest, an in-swinging corner on the left by Andrew Cartwright was met by Ryan McKinnon but his header was cleared from the danger zone.
Time and time again, Ashington’s approach play was decent but then they left their supporters frustrated by a lack of cohesion in the final third.
On the half hour, after a good build up down the right, Ben Sampson flashed a ball right across the face of the goal when only a touch was required.
But the danger was being caught on the counter and two minutes later, home ‘keeper Karl Dryden was called into action, pushing away an effort from Jordan Palmer.
Robbie Dale was next to set up a chance for Ross but the midfielder got no purchase on his shot which was easily dealt with by ‘keeper Lewis Boyd.
Eight minutes after half time, a ball by Mason got behind the visitors defence but Sampson, after reaching the by-line, saw his cross held by Boyd.
Later a corner on the right by Cartwright saw Craig Spooner’s ground shot instinctively flicked by Dan Maguire but the ball brushed against the outside of the post before rolling out for a goal kick.
Again Ashington knocked on the door when Maguire found the over lapping Jordan Summerly down the left but his ball in fizzed across the six yards box.
In the 71st minute another flag kick on the right was met by Spooner whose right footer from the edge of the area smacked against the crossbar and was cleared.
Ross then latched onto a pass from Summerly and teed the ball up for himself only to fire over the bar.
When sub Scott Heslop dragged wide after a ball over the top from McKinnon, time was starting to run out for the Colliers.
But in the 84th minute – three minutes after coming on – Robinson’s skill on the left saw him cut inside before finding Briggs whose assured finish sent the home fans into raptures.
Ashington safely negotiated the closing stages, including five minutes of time added on when basically, they had to do it with ten men as Heslop – who bravely returned to the pitch to soldier on – had a foot injury and all five substitutes had been used.
|Northern League - Division 1