By Brian Bennett
A goal just past the hour mark by substitute Jamie Davis clinched Thornaby all three points from this Ebac Northern League first division encounter at The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday.
Davis – who was introduced for the start of the second half – received a sidewards pass from Craig Hutchinson before burying a right foot effort past home ‘keeper Adam McHugh.
However the goal lit the touch paper as the clash developed into a feisty affair after what had previously been a very ordinary end of season contest.
Two minutes after Davis had struck, Ben Sampson found Dean Briggs down the left flank and after cutting inside, the midfielder’s shot from a tight angle was held at the post by ‘keeper Quinaceo Hunt.
When play switched, Thornaby’s Craig Hutchinson was clean through with only McHugh to beat but his shot was beaten away by the stopper.
Ashington manager Ian Skinner brought on the pacy Jordan Lashley for Yannick Aziakonou but Lashley had only been on the field four minutes when he went down the right wing only to be sent sprawling by a late tackle from Nathan Guru.
Referee Darren Williams consulted with his assistant before brandishing a red card to the Teessiders defender.
However for the remainder of the game Ashington failed to make the extra man count and only carved out a minimum of opportunities.
Sampson was again the provider finding Briggs who cut along the by-line but saw his shot came back off the post.
Craig Spooner struck a free-kick from 30 yards which was spilled by Hunt but the ‘keeper pounced to grab the rebound just ahead of Ben Harmison.
A deep cross by Briggs saw Spooner just miss out at the far post and in stoppage time an effort from Liam Doyle was held by Hunt.
Then in the fifth minute of time added on, Elliott Beddow had a shot pushed over by McHugh.
In the first period, Ashington had made inroads from kick off as Briggs found Spooner down the flank but the number seven’s cross was too high for his team mates in the penalty area.
Spooner produced an instinctive piece of skill when he flicked the ball over his head to go past a defender but dragged a right footer wide from the edge of the area.
In a rare raid by the visitors, Joe Pickett stroked past the upright but even though Ashington were sloppy in possession they still fashioned four chances.
Sampson had two opportunities, driving the first from distance but straight into Hunt’s midriff and after a patient build up, placing a right foot shot wide.
Hunt saved with his legs to deny Doyle then shortly before half time, Doyle crossed but Spooner spurned a great opening, firing over from eight yards.
|Sat 9/4/2022||3:00 pm||Northern League - Division 1||2021-22||375|
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2|
|Darren Williams||Daniel Van Hymus||David Mitchell|