By Brian Bennett
Ashington edged nearer to the foot of the Northern Premier League’s East Division table after a 4-1 defeat against high flying Stockton Town at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.
The Colliers went down to their sixth reverse of the season and now only goal difference keeps them out of the bottom two.
After a first half of limited chances, the Teessiders stepped on the gas immediately after the break whilst the Colliers performance deteriorated and even more so following Stockton’s second goal just past the hour.
Kev Hayes’s eyes must light up whenever he knows he is going to face Ashington. He has tormented the Wansbeck side over the years and earlier in the campaign scored a dramatic winner which sent Ashington out of the Isuzu FA Cup.
On Saturday he came on as a substitute and not only added Stockton’s third but also set up their fourth.
There was little to enthuse about in the first period. Ashington’s first shot came on the quarter hour but Karl Ross’s drive clipped off a defender which took the pace off the ball which was easily collected by ‘keeper Callum Roberts.
Midway through Ross and Darren Lough combined down the left but when the latter crossed, Kneeshaw miskicked and the chance evaporated.
Stockton continued to probe and in the 32nd minute, Elliott Beddow teed up a volley for himself but fired over.
Just before the half time adjournment, a cross by Craig Spooner found Ben Sampson but he directed a right footer over the bar.
Ten minutes into the second half, Stockton took the lead when Beddow went past a defender in the box and drove a low effort wide of ‘keeper Karl Dryden.
Ashington replied immediately with Spooner having a shot cleared for a corner but just past the hour mark, the Anchors added a second.
Cameron Painter’s pass down the left opened up the home defence and when Michael Roberts cut the ball back, Michael Sweet slotted in.
Then towards the end of the contest, the visitors scored two more inside three minutes.
In the 90th minute, substitute Hayes made no mistake after a quick break then in stoppage time, Tom Coulthard glanced a free kick by Hayes inside the corner of the net.
With virtually the last kick of the game, Ashington pulled one back after a searching pass from the back released Kneeshaw down the left. The striker cut inside two defenders before he finished with aplomb firing the ball into the roof of the net.
|Sat 7/10/2023||3:00 pm||Northern Premier League - East Division||2023-24||528|
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2|
|Matthew Morton||Kevin McKitterick||Jordan Nicholson|