By Brian Bennett
Talk about making an impact! Ashington’s Jordan Lashley came off the bench to hit an emphatic four goal salvo as the Colliers were forced to come from behind before picking up three merited points against Redcar Athletic at the BM Bi Folding Doors Stadium on Wednesday night.
The win took Ian Skinner’s side up to third top of the Ebac Northern League’s first division table but midway through the first period, they found themselves trailing after being caught on the counter attack with Redcar netting through Owen Clarkson.
Nevertheless, there had been little to enthuse about for the first 65 minutes of this contest – until Ashington manager Ian Skinner made a triple substitution with Lashley, Max Cowburn and Bobby Taylor replacing Ben Sampson, Adam Johnson and Luke Salmon.
Two minutes later, Dean Briggs and sub Max Cowburn combined to set up Lashley who gave ‘keeper Matthew Bateman no chance as he squeezed a left footer from the edge of the area just inside the post.
Going all out for a winner, the Colliers were almost undone and Liam Doyle made an important last ditch tackle to snuff out a promising attack by home sub Isaac Walker.
Then for the final ten minutes, the game centred around the unstoppable Lashley.
Lewis Suddick made a surging run but with only Bateman to beat saw his shot came back off the post. However Lashley was on hand to smash home the rebound to put the Colliers in front.
And with time running out, Doyle and Cowburn linked to play the ball to Lashley who curled a delightful low effort with his left foot inside the far post to complete his hat-trick.
But there was still more to come and in the second minute of time added on, Lashley ran from just inside his own half, beat a defender then drilled the ball home wide of a helpless Bateman.
With virtually the last kick of the match, ‘keeper Adam McHugh was called upon to save from Nicky Martin before the final whistle came which cemented back to back wins for the Colliers.
Ashington – who had lost at home to the Steelmen on the last day of August – called the tune in what was a fast flowing encounter but it was the 12th minute before they threatened the Redcar goal when a whipped low cross by Luke Salmon just eluded Briggs sliding in at the far post.
Briggs fired over following a corner on the right by Suddick then on the half hour, Thomas Kalthoeber threaded the ball through for Salmon who teed himself up but smashed a volley over from the edge of the box.
Within a minute, the Colliers found themselves 1-0 down after Bateman took the resulting goal kick and Clarkson lobbed a right footer which dipped viciously over McHugh and dropped into the net via the crossbar.
Briggs drove wide after receiving a cross field pass from skipper Ben Harmison then Bateman made a stunning save at the foot of the post to deny Adam Johnson.
Early in the second half, Salmon hit the post with a snap shot before on the hour, Bateman made two fine saves to thwart Suddick and Johnson.
Skinner then changed three personnel – and Redcar were simply stunned by a quadruple blast from Lashley.