By Brian Bennett
Ashington pulled off a tremendous 1-0 victory on Saturday against Guisborough Town at the King George V Stadium after a stunning strike in the closing stages from Andrew Cartwright.
For the defender, it was his second goal of the season – the other coming in a 4-1 win over Whickham at the beginning of November – and sealed a well deserved success for the Wansbeck outfit on Teesside.
The game was billed as a top of the table clash – fourth placed Ashington against their in-form hosts who sit directly below them – but their was little to enthuse about in a first half which only produced one chance for each side.
Even then, the encounter had already crossed the half way point in the period when the home sides’ Cole Kiernan cut inside and unleashed a goalbound left footer which was brilliantly pushed away by visiting ‘keeper Karl Dryden diving to his right.
The Colliers handed a debut to Lewis Green and it was the former Consett midfielder who came within inches of providing an assist in the 34th minute.
Inside the penalty area and near to the by-line, the newcomer played in a low ball from the left which flashed across the face of the goal with Ben Harmison narrowly failing to connect at the far post.
That was that for the opening period, a dour scrap between the two sides – and opportunities wise, the second half fared little better.
However Ashington certainly upped their game and called the tune from the restart, making inroads and hemming Guisborough inside their own half.
Inside the first few minutes, Cartwright – who was to play a starring role – combined with Lewis Suddick on two occasions.
For the first, Suddick’s effort was cleared then when the midfielder got possession again, he flashed a ball across the six yards box when only a touch was required.
Then ten minutes in, Ryan McKinnon – who was outstanding throughout at the heart of the defence – glanced an in-swinging corner from Cartwright wide.
In a rare break, Michael McGee fired wide for Guisborough but two minutes later Dean Briggs – who had replaced the injured Dan Maguire in the first half – floated over a free-kick from the left which was headed on by sub Adam Johnson and the home side were happy to clear for a corner.
Then in the 84th minute came the piece of quality which resulted in the winner.
Cartwright and Briggs exchanged a one-two and when Briggs rolled the ball into space, Cartwright unleashed a thunderbolt right footer from the edge of the box which screamed past home stopper Will Cowey and into the net.
|Sat 11/2/2023||3:00 pm||Northern League - Division 1||2022-23||285|
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2|
|Matthew Davidson||Andrew Broadbent||Andrew Cook|