By Brian Bennett
Ashington turned in a dazzling five star performance as they hammered North Ferriby 5-0 at the Dransfield Stadium on Saturday.
The Villagers started the day in a play off position but after a scoreless first period, the goals rained in from a rampant Colliers side as Wilson Kneeshaw and Connor Thomson claimed two apiece with the other coming from Craig Spooner.
The hosts were left shell-shocked as Ian Skinner’s outfit roared into a 3-0 lead within the opening ten minutes of the second half and they added another couple to their tally in what was a truly awesome and dominant display.
Afterwards the Wansbeck outfit came in for warm praise from the sporting home supporters who described it as being the best showing they had witnessed by an opposing side for five years.
Despite a three hours period of heavy rain which fell during the night, the pitch was in immaculate condition before the contest.
Early doors, Ferriby’s Joel Shortland had a low drive deflected for a corner but Ashington’s riposte was to fashion a couple of chances.
In the eighth minute, Oli Thompson found Dan Maguire whose ball over the top of a defender released Thomson. The striker bore down on goal but saw his right footer blocked by ‘keeper Jordan Douglas.
Then Kneeshaw chased what appeared to be a lost cause to cross from the by line but Maguire’s effort was tipped over at point blank range by the home stopper.
Spooner had a 25 yarder deflected over before the home side also had opportunities.
Josh Dennett side footed narrowly wide of Karl Dryden’s right hand post then a terrific run by Levi Tarbotton saw the midfielder weave past three challenges. Home supporters were waiting for the net to bulge but Tarbotton’s effort was cleared off the line by Kyle Errington.
Centre forward Tom Corner glanced wide with a header from a free-kick before there was a lengthy stoppage in play following an injury to Karl Ross. Eventually the Ashington skipper was forced to retire and was replaced by Max Emmerson.
The Colliers made an explosive start to the second half as they took the lead in the 47th minute – then added two more in quick succession!
Ben Sampson’s attempted shot fell into the path of Kneeshaw who took a touch then fired into the bottom corner.
Then it was Sampson and Maguire who combined to send the ball through for Kneeshaw who added his second after slipping the ball wide of Douglas.
Ashington’s purple patch continued in the 56th minute when Thomson got in on the scoring act following a three man move. Dryden started it by throwing the ball out wide to Spooner who unlocked the home defence with a great pass which allowed Thomson to advance before coolly slotting home.
Ashington were looking a threat even time they ventured forward with slick passing moves and just past the hour mark, an attack ended with Thompson’s shot going straight down Douglas’s throat.
The pace of Kneeshaw was causing the Villagers endless problems and another run saw him cut the ball back which was cleared for a corner with Emmerson just off target from the resultant flag kick.
However, midway through the period, the Colliers were caught out when Josh Whitley latched onto a through pass and skipped past the advancing Dryden. However as a handful of defenders raced back to cover, it was Errington who again cleared off the line to foil the home number ten.
Ten minutes later, referee Macauley Gibson awarded the visitors a penalty after Kneeshaw went to ground inside the area and Thomson sent Douglas the wrong way from the spot to make it 4-0.
In the 84th minute, Ashington introduced Morgan Dart and the substitute could have made a sensational start to his career with the club. Within 30 seconds, he was clean through with only Douglas to beat but saw his shot clip the heel of the ‘keeper and roll behind for a corner.
However from the flag kick, Ashington went nap when Spooner’s in-swinger went directly into the net at the near post.
Ashington were exceptional in the second half and there was much to admire about them in the first half too. The result made it four wins and a draw from their last five matches which saw them climb to ninth place in the league and second top of the current form table.
|Sat 18/11/2023||3:00 pm||Northern Premier League - East Division||2023-24||742|