Grimsby Borough vs Ashington


Match Report

By Brian Bennett

Goalkeeper Ross Coombe was the hero of the hour for Ashington as they got back on track to notch their tenth league win of the campaign with a hard fought 2-1 win over Grimsby Borough at the Bradley Football Development Centre on Saturday.

Trailing to Caine Winfarrah’s opener for the home side, Ben Sampson scored his first goal of the season to level before Connor Thomson got what proved to be the winner.

However it took a brilliant penalty save from Coombe to deny Harvey Tomlinson an equaliser with a little more than quarter of an hour of the contest remaining.

Following on from the harsh scoreline of a 4-1 reverse against Dunston UTS the previous week, victory for Ian Skinner’s side in the end was deserved – a result which saw them move up a couple of places into a mid table position in the East Division of the Pitching In Northern Premier League.

But holding the lead, the Colliers frittered away a plethora of chances to add to their tally and were left to battle it out until the final whistle.

Ashington carved out the first opening as Thomson set up Dan Maguire whose left footed effort was deflected narrowly wide.

In truth however, it looked as if the Colliers were going to have their work cut out against ‘The Wilderness Boys’ who although not troubling Coombe, were certainly the better, sharper and slicker outfit during the first quarter hour.

Consequently it came as no surprise when the Lincolnshire outfit went ahead in the 18th minute. They broke down the left flank and when the ball was crossed low into the area, Winfarrah swept it home at the far post.

Cue an impressive response from the away side as they got behind the home defence and struck twice in ten minutes with similar goals to turn the game completely on its head.

Three minutes after going behind, skipper Karl Ross reached the by-line on the right and when he crossed low into the area, Sampson was well placed to slot home.

The Colliers had got to grips with the threat being posed by the home side and indeed it was now the turn of the Grimsby rearguard to back pedal as they struggled to cope with the pace of Wilson Kneeshaw and Thomson up front.

Just past the half hour mark it was the twin strikers who combined to fire their side in front.

Kneeshaw weaved along the by-line and cut the ball back for Thomson who side footed home from close range.

The same combination engineered what was another close call minutes later with Thomson turning provider but Kneeshaw’s effort was cleared off the line.

Just before the interval, Adam Drury blazed narrowly over for Grimsby but the half ended with Ashington missing a glorious opening to extend their lead.

Sampson put the ball through for Kneeshaw but his shot was blocked by ‘keeper Liam Higton.

Ashington came out at the start of the second period with all guns blazing – but could not find that killer touch in front of goal.

Four minutes in and great work on the right by Kneeshaw saw his cross shot flash across the face of the goal then a superb through pass by Maguire sent Kneeshaw through the middle but he was again denied by Higton.

Coombe pushed aside an effort from Sam Topliss before a significant turning point arrived after 73 minutes when Si Jakab sent Edwin Essel tumbling inside the area and referee Gavin Scott pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Tomlinson but Coombe was equal to the kick, diving low to his left to palm the ball away onto the foot of the post.

Ashington squandered further opportunities to give themselves some breathing space.

Thomson and Kneeshaw both had efforts blocked then Ross found Maguire but he dragged his shot wide.

Similarly on 87 minutes, Kneeshaw was again off target but the Colliers – with Ben Williams, Gary Ormston and Jakab outstanding at the heart of the defence – comfortably saw out the remaining time to ensure that the three points came back with them to Wansbeck.


Date Time Competition Season Attendance
Sat 10/2/2024 3:00 pm Northern Premier League - East Division 2023-24 147