Pontefract Collieries vs Ashington


Match Report

By Brian Bennett

Ashington earned a point from an hard fought encounter against Pontefract Collieries on Tuesday night.

The Wansbeck side for whom Gary Ormston was outstanding, were ahead 3-1 at the hour mark but couldn’t fend off a strong comeback by the home outfit and eventually had to settle for a 3-3 draw.

For the neutral, the result was a fair reflection of the game especially after a blood and thunder second period – only Ian Skinner’s side left the Hunter’s Stadium disappointed.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening quarter of the game.

Ben Sampson was prominent for Ashington in the early stages and he set up the overlapping Craig Spooner in the seventh minute but the full back’s cross was taken by ‘keeper Lloyd Allison at the near post.

At the other end, Pontefract winger Frankie Sinfield was a threat and when he centred the ball from the left, it required a timely interception by Si Jakab to avert the danger.

The Colliers carved out the first clear cut chance in the 26th minute when Wilson Kneeshaw played the ball through to Connor Thomson but he dragged a first time shot wide.

Within a minute, the Colliers were behind – following a hotly disputed penalty award.

Ashington were adamant that the Pontefract player caught Gary Ormston in the area but the referee pointed to the spot and Adam Haw comfortably slotted the ball home.

Visiting ‘keeper Karl Dryden was called into the action on the half hour, diving to his left to hold onto an effort by Jack Boyle then the stopper pushed around a free kick by Connor Smythe.

Ashington finished the half in style as they turned the game on its head with two goals in four minutes.

For the equaliser, the referee played a great advantage after the visitors had shouted for a handball offence as the ball was played through to Kneeshaw on the right. He advanced before drilling a right footer inside the near post.

Then in the final seconds of the half, Thomson raided down the left flank and when he cut the ball back, Paul Van-Zandvliet smashed home a sweetly struck low half volley from 14 yards.

Ten minutes into the second half, Kneeshaw found Dan Maguire whose effort cannoned back into play after hitting the crossbar and Allison blocked the follow up effort by Will Constantin.

On the hour, Kneeshaw – ten yards inside the Pontefract half – latched onto a through ball by Thomson and made a beeline for goal before curling a superb right footer wide of Allison and inside the far post to make it 3-1.

But only four minutes later, the home side reduced the deficit. Boyle’s shot was turned away by Dryden for a corner and from the flag kick, Haw flicked in.

Shortly afterwards, Kneeshaw raided down the left and pulled the ball square for Thomson but he was thwarted by a good tackle by a home defender.

Play switched to the other end and Ashington had a let off when the ball thudded against the bar.

The game was certainly end to end and in the next minute, a 30 yards free-kick by Craig Spooner was heading for the top corner until it was brilliantly tipped over by Allinson.

Boyle fired narrowly off target then with five minutes of the 90 remaining, Pontefract drew level when Louie Chorlton stabbed the ball home.


Date Time Competition Season Attendance
Tue 5/3/2024 7:45 pm Northern Premier League - East Division 2023-24 151


RefereeAssistant 1Assistant 2
Thomas MaherDean GrantThomas Johnson