|Sat 16/10/2021||3:00 pm||Northern League - Division 1||2021-22||535|
By Brian Bennett
The cream definitely rose to the top for Ashington – on a day when a local dairy was the match sponsor at The dwmedia Stadium!
Three goals of the highest quality from skipper Dean Briggs, substitute Craig Spooner and Jordan Summerly were included in a dominant second half by the Colliers which swept Crook aside.
The final tally was four – but it could have been more as Ian Skinner’s outfit caused umpteen problems for the visitors down both flanks with full backs Ben Sampson and Summerly both prominent.
Yet after the first 45 minutes, there was little to choose between the sides with Crook looking a well organised and tidy outfit and the Colliers certainly not having things their own way.
Ashington created the first chance after only 90 seconds when a long ball out of defence by Curtis Coppen found Ryan McGorrigan who played in Paul Robinson. The midfielder cut inside but his left foot shot went straight into the midriff of ‘keeper Aaron Skelton.
Crook responded with Mason Hurworth hooking the ball over from 16 yards following a free-kick on the right then skipper Lee Hume firing in a shot from the left hand side of the area which was deflected over.
It was a slow start by both sides – and although the football was good, chances were at a premium.
Midway through the period, Robinson was not far away with a right footer then Max Cowburn and Ben Sampson combined to set up Danny Anderson but he clipped the ball over the bar.
However Ashington took the lead in the 38th minute with McGorrigan netting his ninth goal of the campaign.
Briggs made a surging run forward before going to ground and after referee Connor Scott had waved away penalty shouts, the ball ran to McGorrigan who drove wide of Skelton and in off the far post.
Ashington made a good start to the second period. Anderson got on the end of a cross by Summerly but his header was taken by Skelton.
However, in the 51st minute, Briggs lit the touch paper with a stunning effort to double his sides lead. Receiving from Summerly, the home skipper skipped past one challenge then unleashed a right footer from the edge of the area which gave Skelton no chance as it flew inside the right stanchion.
Five minutes later, Briggs was through again but Connor Johnson made a great block tackle to stop him and just past the hour mark, McGorrigan’s pass put Briggs down the middle but his shot thudded against the foot of the post.
Ashington were playing some lovely football and a neat dummy by McGorrigan gave Cowburn an opportunity. The winger looked up and his effort directed towards the near post was touched over by Skelton.
In the 69th minute, home boss Skinner made a double substitution introducing Karl Ross and Craig Spooner for Briggs and Anderson – and it proved to be an inspired move as within five minutes, the pair combined to add a fabulous third.
Ross’s deft lay off set up Spooner and the former North Shields midfielder curled a brilliant right footer from 18 yards into the top corner to record his first goal in Ashington colours.
The Colliers continued to slice open the Crook rearguard with McGorrigan turning but firing wide then Sampson and Cowburn linking down the right but when the latter crossed, McGorrigan’s first time effort rolled a foot wide of the far post.
In the 88th minute the home side pieced together a scintillating move which initially involved Sampson and Cowburn. Summerly and Robinson then played a one-two and when the full back crossed, McGorrigan just failed to connect as he slid in at the far post.
However in the second minute of stoppage time, Summerly also opened his account for the Colliers following another well worked move.
Robinson threaded a pass through for Summerly who finished with aplomb, driving the ball inside the far corner.