Brighouse Town vs Ashington


Match Report

By Brian Bennett

A goal ten seconds from time by Paul Van-Zandvliet earned Ashington a deserved point against Brighouse Town at the Heffernan Utilities Stadium on Saturday.

The Colliers had to battle back on no fewer than three occasions before claiming a share of the spoils – but Van-Zandvliet’s late, late equaliser prevented his side from falling to a fourth consecutive defeat.

In another game littered with goals which took the tally to 14 for the campaign, it was a case of déjà vu too. Back in August on the opening day of the league season, the Wansbeck outfit were trailing 4-2 before Charlie Exley and Darren Lough rescued a point with two strikes in stoppage time at Woodhorn Lane.

Brighouse went into the contest without a win in their last ten games but they had the first chance in the fifth minute.

Jack Normanton threaded the ball through for Mohammad Qasim but his right footer was turned aside by ‘keeper Karl Dryden.

Ashington’s riposte was to hit back in the next phase of play. Dan Maguire found Craig Spooner on the right and when his shot was blocked, Maguire ran onto the rebound and tried to place his effort which saved at the second attempt by home stopper Jamie Hassall.

In an open contest played on an already heavy surface and in driving rain, chances continued to fall to the visitors who carved out two more in as many minutes.

The first stemmed from a Ball by Maguire to Kneeshaw but the striker’s first touch was heavy and Hassall gratefully collected.

Then Kneeshaw turned provider slipping the ball through for Connor Thomson but his shot was blocked by Hassall.

Dryden held a shot from Normanton before the home side edged in front in the 27th minute.

They were awarded a disputed penalty after a coming together between Dryden and Qasim and Normanton stepped up to send Dryden the wrong way from the spot.

Ten minutes later, only the sheer brilliance of Hassall kept the hosts ahead.

Thomson went through before laying the ball off to Maguire whose low angled drive was destined for the bottom corner until Hassall dived full length to his right to push it around the post.

In stoppage time, Brighouse broke from an Ashington corner and after a superb tackle inside the area by Gary Ormston to thwart Qasim, the rebound fell to the striker whose shot was deflected behind.

Six minutes into the second half, Ashington found an equaliser after good link up play on the right involving Kneeshaw and Thomson.

The latter cut inside and when he pulled the ball back, Thompson drove it home without having to break stride.

Two minutes later, Thomson got in behind again but on this occasion when he crossed, Thompson missed his kick.

An effort by Maguire stung the palms of Hassall then at the other end, Cameron Bedford’s shot from distance flashed narrowly wide.

The home side got their noses in front for a second time in the 73rd minute when a ricochet fell straight into the path of Kieron Ceesay who fired in.

But within five minutes, it was all square again with Thompson scoring an almost identical goal to his first.

Kneeshaw’s pace down the right hand side caused problems and when he cut the ball back, Thompson finished well clipping it home at the near post.

However, within two minutes, Brighouse regained the lead.

A cross from the left went across the face of the Ashington goal and substitute Samuel Drake had the easy task of side footing home from close range.

Incredibly, this game had one final twist.

In the last of four minutes of additional time, the Colliers forced a corner on the right.

Substitute Morgan Dart floated an in-swinger into the danger zone which was glanced on by Ormston and Van-Zandvliet forced the ball over the line with a back flick.


Date Time Competition Season Attendance
Sat 23/12/2023 3:00 pm Northern Premier League - East Division 2023-24 158

Past Meetings

4 - 4
Woodhorn Lane

Ashington vs Brighouse Town

Attendance: 422