By Brian Bennett
Ashington survived an early scare before they wrapped up a comfortable 4-1 win over Whickham at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.
The victory was deserved and followed hard on the heels of Saturday’s 2-0 result over Thornaby on Teesside.
Conditions were perfect for the contest – and the Colliers made a great start as they took the lead in the 12th minute.
Good interchanging play between Liam Smith and Ben Sampson saw the latter lay the ball into the path of the overlapping Jordan Summerly.
The full back swung over a terrific inviting cross into the danger zone where skipper Ben Harmison placed a downward header into the net.
However, within 60 seconds, Whickham striker Kaleb Young went to ground inside the area under challenge from Karl Ross and referee Patrick Laws immediately pointed to the spot.
Jamie Dunn stepped forward to take the penalty but as home ‘keeper Karl Dryden dived to his right, the Whickham midfielder blasted the kick high over the bar.
Ashington made their visitors pay dearly for the miss as in the 27th minute the home side added a second after being awarded a free kick 25 yards out.
Andrew Cartwright took it right footed and the ball took a wicked defection off a Whickham defender before it spun and crept just inside the far post leaving ‘keeper Nathan Harker stranded.
Chances were at a premium – but 20 seconds after the interval, the Colliers increased their lead even further.
The ball was knocked forward and after Harmison had challenged upfield, Whickham defender Garon Garside lobbed it over the advanced Harker and into his own net.
Ten minutes later, Harmison came close to adding a fourth.
Karl Ross made a fabulous run down the left flank and when he crossed to the far post, Harmison’s header was goalbound until Harker pushed the ball out in fine style.
Two minutes later when Sam Dibb-Fuller threatened to run inside the Ashington area, he was halted by a superb tackle by Ryan McKinnon.
Just past the hour mark, substitute David Below had a shot held by ‘keeper Karl Dryden before a slick move by the home side involving Harmison, Cartwright and Sampson ended with the latter poking the ball wide of the post.
With quarter of an hour remaining, Ashington manager Ian Skinner made a triple substitution throwing Danny Anderson, Luke Salmon and Adam Johnson into the fray and within two minutes, the latter – after receiving the ball from Ross – cut inside but lashed over.
With eight minutes left on the clock, visitors skipper Dale Burrell reduced the arrears with a superbly struck right footed free-kick from 25 yards then in the next minute, a cross from the right was headed wide by Jamie Dunn.
But in the third minute of time added on, Anderson played a pass through for Spooner who chipped the ball over the advancing Harker for Ashington’s fourth.
|Northern League - Division 1