Carlton Town vs Ashington


Match Report

By Brian Bennett

Two goals in the second half from skipper Niall Davie and substitute Alex Hardwick sewed up a 2-0 win for play off chasers Carlton Town over Ashington on Saturday.

Conditions from the start at the Stoke Lane ground – a difficult playing surface coupled with a strong diagonal wind – suggested that this contest in Nottinghamshire was never going to be a classic and that’s exactly how things panned out.

Ashington – with the aid of the wind on their backs in the first half – enjoyed more possession but it was the 11th minute before the game woke up.

That was when the Colliers pieced together an intricate move down the left which culminated in a shot from Wilson Kneeshaw taking a deflection before hitting the side netting and bouncing behind for a corner.

On the quarter hour, Will Constantin tried his luck with an effort from 30 yards which went well wide of the target and only a few minutes later – with their first threat on the Ashington goal – Carlton’s Lamin Manneh headed home following a cross from the left but the assistant had his flag raised for offside and the score was ruled out.

Ashington tried to make inroads again with Gary Ormston and Craig Spooner linking well to find Kneeshaw but his centre was intercepted at the near post.

The Colliers then tried a route one move with a long clearance by ‘keeper Karl Dryden going over the top of the home defence and putting Kneeshaw through but Khyle Sargent got back to make a superb and potential goal-saving challenge.

Paul Van-Zandvliet – who had replaced Dan Maguire midway through the half – headed a corner by Spooner wide then a flag kick taken from the opposite side by Charlie Exley was cleared off the line.

Kneeshaw found himself through on goal again but for the second time, Sargent came to his sides’ rescue with another timely tackle.

Carlton took the lead eight minutes into the second half. Dryden failed to collect a corner played into the danger area from the left and Davie bundled the ball home from close range.

Ashington hit back in the next minute but a shot by Van-Zandvliet was easily held by ‘keeper Felix Annan.

Lewis Durow headed narrowly over for the Millers then Dryden pushed a corner by Manneh onto the top of the bar.

Twenty minutes into the period a cross by Charlie Exley fell to Spooner whose shot was blocked.

In quick succession, Dryden saved from Manneh and Alex Howes but Ashington’s afternoon got worse eight minutes from time when having used all three substitutes, they were forced to play the remainder of the game a man short after Constantin was forced off with an injury.

But incredibly, the ten men rallied and ought to have equalised in the closing stages as substitutes Connor Thomson and James McGeorge combined on two occasions.

The first in the 86th minute saw Thomson pass to McGeorge whose shot was tipped around by Annan.

Then in time added on, the Colliers carved out a glorious chance. McGeorge was the supplier of a ball played out wide to Thomson but the striker’s right footer was deflected away by Annan.

Three minutes later, the home side wrapped up the points. Manneh went to ground inside the area and after the referee had pointed for a penalty, substitute Hardwick netted from the spot even though Dryden dived the right way.


Date Time Competition Season Attendance
Sat 6/4/2024 3:00 pm Northern Premier League - East Division 2023-24 331


RefereeAssistant 1Assistant 2
Anthony TankardRoss SteeleEllis Douglas

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