By Brian Bennett
Ashington missed an opportunity to go to the top of the first division of the Ebac Northern League on Saturday when a late show by current leaders Newton Aycliffe saw them run out 4-1 winners at the SecuriCorp Stadium.
Two goals in the final ten minutes from substitute Jack Clarkson and Ethan Wood cemented the victory for the hosts but the final scoreline was undoubtedly harsh on a Colliers side who had gone into the contest boasting eight wins from their last nine games.
It was a highly anticipated tussle and deservedly dressed up as a top billing clash – Aycliffe against second in the table Ashington – but the whole complexion of the match changed on the quarter hour when Colliers skipper Ben Harmison was red carded.
Ashington – through poor defending – were already trailing to a goal in the fifth minute after a cross from the by line by Liam Jarvie was headed in at the back post by Jack Naylor.
The game went flat before a 30 yarder by Wood was tipped over by Karl Dryden and five minutes later, the stopper made a double block from Jarvie and Joseph Smith.
In the 38th minute, Aycliffe doubled their lead when Smith played the ball across for Liam Adamson who made no mistake.
Shortly afterwards, the Colliers were handed a lifeline.
Oscar Eckley-Aldsworth was sent off following a tackle on Jordan Summerly just inside the Aycliffe half and after a delay whilst the full back received treatment, the free kick was played to Dan Maguire who lashed the ball home from 20 yards.
Ashington were now in the ascendancy and consequently the half time whistle came as a relief for the home side.
Early doors after the break, Dryden gathered well from a shot by Wood then Maguire played the ball square to Ben Sampson but he blazed over.
Another key turning point arrived in the 55th minute when a low shot by Maguire took a deflection off Dean Briggs and rolled along the goal-line before going out for a goal kick.
That was as good as it got for the Colliers whilst their opponents came on strongly in the final quarter hour.
Sub Clarkson rolled a ball across the face with Adamson just missing out then Naylor drove wide.
But with eight minutes of the 90 left, Clarkson cut across from left to right and rifled in a decisive third for Aycliffe.
And in the third minute of time added on, a clever flick by sub Charlie Dawson set up Wood who curled a superb effort wide of Dryden and inside the far corner of the net.
NOTE: FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL APPEAL, BEN HARMISON’S RED CARD WAS RESCINDED AND EXPUNGED FROM THE RECORDS.
|Northern League - Division 1