League: Northern League - Division 1

Seaham Red Star vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Lee Mason despatched a disputed penalty shortly before half time which gave Ashington their first win over Seaham Red Star at the Independent Utility Advice Arena for six seasons.

The Colliers have always found Seaham a tough place to go and on Saturday, it was just the same with little to separate the sides in testing conditions.

Indeed the first period – where the Wansbeck side kicked into the teeth of a strong wind – contained only two key incidents.

On the quarter hour, Robbie Dale found the overlapping Jordan Summerly down the left. His cross was recycled by Dean Briggs and when he played the ball in low for Mason, the striker’s shot on the turn was smartly saved by home ‘keeper Andrew Jennison.

Then what led to the decisive goal came in the 42nd minute when Dale slipped Maguire through the middle. The forward was clipped in the area and referee Charlie Ford pointed to the spot.

Seaham contested the award but when the dust finally settled, Mason clinically tucked the ball home sending Jennison the wrong way.

The second half faired little better with plenty of endeavour and effort in what was a competitive match but with few chances on goal.

On the hour, Ashington skipper Ben Harmison met a cross by Dale but his header clipped the post and was cleared.

Seaham’s best opportunity came midway through when Bradley Chisholm met a free kick from the right and powered a header which was superbly tipped around the upright by visitors ‘keeper Karl Dryden.

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Ashington vs Penrith

By Brian Bennett

Adam Johnson came off the bench to score the winner as Ashington were forced to dig deep before recording a 2-1 victory over Penrith at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

After having a penalty saved, Robbie Dale opened the scoring for the Colliers just prior to half time but the hard working Cumbrians equalised through Luke Hunter. Striker Johnson then fired home what proved to be the clincher with just under quarter of an hour remaining.

Following rain in the morning, excellent work on the pitch by a group of volunteers resulted in the game getting the go ahead.

Home fans were left frustrated as their side missed chances but the main stumbling block for Ashington’s failure to put the game to bed even by half time, was an outstanding display between the posts by Penrith’s Aaran Taylor who not only kept the Wansbeck side at bay but who single handedly walked away with the man of the match award.

For parts of the game it was edgy and nervy but the Colliers cracked the code and returned to winning ways for the first time since mid November.

It was staggering that it took the Colliers until the dying embers of the first period to break the deadlock – as it had looked to be merely a matter of time.

They began their dominance as early as the third minute when a clever flick by Dan Maguire put Dean Briggs through but after cutting inside, his heavy touch allowed Taylor the opportunity to pounce and snuff out the danger.

Lee Mason had a goal ruled out for offside then Briggs found Craig Spooner who fired wide of Taylor’s left hand post.

After Mason had shot off target from eight yards, great work on the right by Maguire – where he wriggled one way then the other – saw him find Briggs but the midfielder drove his effort wide of the far upright.

The Colliers continued to knock on the door and when Briggs seized onto a back pass, he tried to round Taylor but the ‘keeper whipped the ball off his toes.

Just past the half hour mark, Ben Sampson and Maguire combined with the latter laying the ball across for Robbie Dale who was upended by Luke Brown as he cut back inside.

Referee David Carr pointed to the spot but Dale’s penalty was blocked by Taylor.

A great crossfield pass by Dale found Briggs on the right flank who pulled the ball inside but Sampson’s right footer was repelled by Taylor and from the resultant corner, a header by Darren Lough was cleared off the line.

The pressure continued to mount as the hard grafting Maguire slipped a pass through for Mason. He took the ball around Taylor but his shot was cleared from the danger zone by Robbie Hebson.

However when the ball was recycled, Taylor produced a miraculous save from a header by Mason. Already moving to his right, the stopper somehow swayed to his left to tip the ball onto the bar with a defender clearing the rebound for a corner.

However the breakthrough finally arrived three minutes before the interval and was a piece of magic by Dale.

Spooner’s run into the box saw him lay the ball off to Dale who coolly jinked past a defender which put him clear before he rolled a shot wide of Taylor and inside the corner.

Ashington were quick out of the blocks after the interval. Maguire and Spooner linked together to set up Sampson whose centre flashed across the face of the goal.

Then Mason and Briggs both had efforts; the first was saved by Taylor and the follow up blocked by a defender.

Despite all of Ashington’s dominance as they pushed for a second goal, Penrith served notice that they could hit on the break and Jonny Murray was not far off target with a shot from the right.

Taylor denied Spooner then Dale, after spotting the ‘keeper off his line, tried an audacious effort from 45 yards which dropped just over the bar.

However in the 73rd minute, the Cumbrians levelled.

Murray crossed from the right where Hunter lashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

Ashington manager Ian Skinner introduced Johnson for Briggs – and five minutes later, it was the substitute who came up trumps.

He cut inside from the touchline and turned then unleashed a low left footer from 20 yards which crept just inside the upright.

And with three minutes of the 90 remaining, Johnson could have put the game firmly beyond the visitors when he latched onto a through pass from sub Karl Ross.

Johnson bore down on goal but his goalbound effort was tipped away – by that man Taylor.

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Ashington vs Whitley Bay

By Brian Bennett

Ben Harmison’s penalty miss shortly before half time proved to be a major turning point as Ashington lost their home clash against neighbours Whitley Bay at Woodhorn Lane on Boxing Day.

The Colliers, playing in their Jackie Charlton tribute strip to support ‘shelters no home kit campaign’ to raise awareness of homelessness were the better side in the first period and were already ahead thanks to a well taken goal by Lee Mason when Dean Briggs – on his return after being sidelined for two and a half months through injury – burst into the area only to be sent sprawling as he went past two Whitley defenders.

Referee Kieran Graham – who had an excellent match on his first appearance in charge at Ashington – had no hesitation in pointing to the spot but skipper Harmison skied his left footed effort well over the bar.

After Karl Ross had got in the way of a thunderous and goalbound drive from ex Collier Ben Richardson, Craig Spooner went close to doubling the lead when he dug the ball out of his feet only to clip just over.

Then within eight minutes at the start of the second period, the Seahorses turned the game completely on its head.

They fashioned a chance in the opening seconds of the resumption and when Andrei-Vasile Ardelean crossed low into the danger zone, Lewis Orrell side footed the ball home from close range.

Mason put an effort wide after receiving from Spooner then in the 53rd minute, a cross from the right by Bailey Geliher hung up in the wind which caused problems for home ‘keeper Kyle Hayes who flapped at it and when the ball came back off the bar, Luke Porritt had the easy task of tapping home.

Even then a revitalised Whitley side had further chances with Orrell curling a shot wide and the Wansbeck outfit also surviving after a goalmouth melee when a cross from the left resulted in an effort by the same player being blocked.

Ashington – kicking into the teeth of the wind – struggled to string any passes together but as they nevertheless went in search of an equaliser, a snapshot by Dan Maguire flashed agonisingly wide; substitute Ben Sampson fired over from distance; a free-kick by Robbie Dale was not far off target and in the last minute of the 90, sub Damen Mullen skied over following a short corner on the right.

The clash – between second from top Whitley against the third placed Colliers – never reached any great heights with the players having to contend with a heavy pitch as well as a strong westerly wind which produced the proverbial game of two halves.

After a cautious start, the match was six minutes old before the first sniff of a chance arrived when Dale found Briggs whose audacious lob from 30 yards cleared the bar.

Seconds later, Elliott Day, Porritt and Orrell combined but the move came to a halt when Jordan Summerly made an excellent tackle inside the area.

Play switched again with Briggs putting Mason through for a one-on-one with keeper Dan Lister and although the striker unleashed a powerful effort, Lister saved superbly tipping the ball over the bar.

The Colliers took the lead in the 12th minute.

Briggs made a great forceful run through the centre before playing the ball through to Mason who took his time then buried a shot wide of Lister.

Midway through the period, Day had a left footer clawed away by Hayes then Ashington pieced together a superb move which involved Dale and Mason before the over lapping Spooner had a cross headed behind for a corner.

Six minutes before the break came the penalty award but Harmison was unable to give his side a two goal cushion.

Ashington were caught cold by Whitley’s fast start to the second period – and as a result, went down to their second home defeat of the season at Woodhorn Lane.

Before kick-off, there was a minute’s applause in memory of lifelong Ashington supporter Neil Thomas, who passed away recently.

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West Auckland Town vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Three goals in four minutes in the second half by West Auckland put the skids under Ashington at the Wanted Stadium on Saturday.

Over the years – apart from an odd result – it’s always been a bit of a bogy ground for the Wansbeck side – and so it proved again.

Yet for an hour, there had been no suggestion that either side would be on the wrong end of a heavy defeat until West’s man of the match Corey Nicholson swung the pendulum dramatically in his sides favour.

The first period was a low key affair – so much so that it was the mid way point before the opening chance arrived.

It fell Ashington’s way – and had skipper Ben Harmison tucked it away, it would have not only been worth the wait but also one of the goals of the season.

Robbie Dale, Lewis Suddick and Craig Spooner linked superbly and when the latter pulled the ball back, Harmison was denied at the near post by a fine block from goalkeeper Daniel Cameron.

Six minutes later, Ashington knocked on the door again.

Dale found the overlapping Luke Salmon down the left flank and when the full back put the ball across the face of the goal, Liam Smith was thwarted by a last ditch tackle by a defender.

West’s first effort at goal came after the half hour mark when Cieran Jackson’s shot was held by ‘keeper Karl Dryden.

Then three minutes later Nicholson set up a chance for James Ellis but the midfielder – without having to break stride – fired over from 20 yards.

Nicholson had begun to look a threat down the right flank and in the 38th minute, he set up the first of three goals.

He crossed into the centre where Dryden did well to block from Ellis but the rebound fell to Jordan Blinco who fired home.

With half time approaching, Nicholson provided another cross which was cleared off the line by Ryan McKinnon.

The Colliers made a positive start to the second period. Harmison headed the ball into space where Lewis Suddick struck a volley into the side netting.

At the other end, Dryden made a brilliant double save, the latter from a Blinco half volley then a raid down the right flank by Spooner saw him cross but Suddick lifted his first time effort over the bar.

Just shy of the hour mark, Dale found Salmon down the wing but again his cross went across the face.

It proved to be a key moment as against the run of play, the home side fashioned a second goal with an emphatic finish by Nicholson.

The ball was played into the winger who finished with a rasping effort into the top corner which gave Dryden no chance.

Ashington had not had time to recover from the body blow when they were three-nil down.

Nicholson was involved again, playing the ball across to Blinco who side footed it to Jackson whose deflected shot squirmed past Dryden.

West ended their purple patch in the 64th minute when who else but Nicholson laid the ball on a plate for Jackson who swept home inside the corner.

For the second game in a row, Ashington manager Skinner made four changes and in the final quarter hour, his side came close to at least scoring a consolation effort.

Dean Briggs had a shot from distance which was saved by Cameron to his right then the ‘keeper gathered at the second attempt from the same substitute.

Dryden denied Jackson before Dan Maguire’s right footer from just outside the box went narrowly past the post.

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Heaton Stannington vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

A goal from skipper Ben Harmison salvaged a point for Ashington against Heaton Stannington at Grounsell Park on Wednesday night.

A draw was a fair result in this Ebac Northern League first division encounter even though both sides had clear chances to win the contest after Harmison’s excellent strike had cancelled out an equally brilliant first half finish from Daniel Stephenson.

On a stamina-sapping pitch, both teams found the going tough – but in otherwise perfect playing conditions, both outfits gave their all.

After the Stan’s 1-0 victory at Woodhorn Lane a little over five weeks ago – the result sets up what promises to be a titanic battle in two weeks time when the two sides battle it out for a place in the semi finals of the Techflow Northumberland Senior Cup.

The home outfit had the first threat inside two minutes when a back pass by Ryan McKinnon slowed up on the turf and gave Louis Anderson a chance but ‘keeper Karl Dryden made a double block, denying Anderson then saving the follow up effort from Stephenson with his legs.

In the tenth minute, Ashington fashioned their first opportunity when Liam Smith – who was influential in the first period – swung over a free kick from the left but McKinnon directed his header straight at ‘keeper Tom Flynn.

Heaton were looking dangerous up front and just past the quarter hour mark, Konner Lamb had a shot blocked.

In the 27th minute, the home side broke the deadlock with a super strike from Stephenson.

Lamb provided the assist finding Stephenson on the right and the forward curled a delightful left footer past the outstretched hands of Dryden and into the top corner.

But three minutes later Flynn prevented the equaliser when Harmison latched onto a cross from the flank by Jordan Summerly but saw his header pushed away at the foot of the post.

Five minutes later, Smith, Andrew Cartwright and Ben Sampson linked well and when the latter crossed, Craig Spooner got on the end of Harmison’s flick on but fired wide.

Similarly when Smith cut inside from the left and crossed, Harmison was off target with another header.

Five minutes into the second half, Anderson shot wide for Heaton then Lee Mason almost levelled with a spectacular effort.

Harmison – who was excellent up front all night – headed on a clearance from Dryden and Mason, spotting Flynn off his line, tried an audacious lob from 40 yards which dropped narrowly wide.

In another move, Mason rolled the ball past the post then Spooner saw a right foot drive from the edge of the box superbly saved by Flynn diving to his right.

A long diagonal ball from Robbie Dale was then glanced on by Harmison but Mason – on the turn – lifted the ball a yard over.

In the 73rd minute, Ashington manager Ian Skinner made four changes – introducing Yannick Aziakonou, Lewis Suddick, Karl Ross and Paul Robinson.

Five minutes later, it was Ross whose sheer determination took him through a couple of challenges before he slipped the ball wide for Harmison and the skipper drove a low left footer across Flynn and into the far corner for the equaliser.

Both sides went for the jugular.

With three minutes of the 90 remaining, Suddick’s shot smacked against the post and from the rebound, Robinson cut inside and flashed an effort narrowly wide.

At the other end, ex Collier Jordan Lashley was involved in two moves.

Following a counter attack, the substitute lobbed over then in the fourth minute of stoppage time, he glanced the ball on for Stephenson but his scuffed effort was gratefully held by Dryden.

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Sunderland RCA vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

A first half double inside eight minutes by striker Kyle Fryatt gave Sunderland RCA a shock victory at LGV Park on Saturday.

The home outfit went into the clash on the back of eight straight defeats but they deservedly claimed all three points and at the same time burst Ashington’s bubble after five consecutive victories.

However with Bishop Auckland idle as their match away to Penrith was postponed and West Allotment Celtic bringing Whitley Bay’s long unbeaten run to an end with a 6-1 success, the Colliers missed the opportunity to move into second place in the Ebac Northern League’s first division table.

Ashington went into the contest without strikers, Ben Harmison, Lee Mason and Dan Maguire and on another heavy surface, the game itself was anything but a spectacle.

Yet Ian Skinner’s side fashioned opportunities inside the opening 20 minutes which saw them dominate possession.

The first came on seven minutes when Paul Robinson set up Craig Spooner who fired narrowly off target then the latter turned provider as he slipped a pass through for Ben Sampson but his low drive was held by home ‘keeper Keaton Marrs.

Adam Johnson had a third chance after receiving from Spooner but after taking on Max Allen, he whipped a left footer over from 14 yards.

Goals change games – and with their first real threat in the 24th minute, RCA took the lead.

Following a throw in, Mark Davison’s first time hooked flick-on saw Fryatt time his run to perfection. He raced clear of the visitors defence and after bearing down on goal, the forward coolly and quite exquisitely executed a right foot chip over the advancing Karl Dryden.

Two minutes later, Sampson and Liam Smith combined to set up Johnson but the striker lifted his effort over the bar.

In the 32nd minute, RCA doubled their lead after an error by Dryden. The ‘keeper’s clearance dropped straight to Fryatt who moved inside, shrugged off a challenge then buried a right footer inside the bottom corner.

And four minutes before half time, the picture could have got even worse for the Colliers when Davison headed the ball into the path of Andre Bennett who netted with a full blooded volley from 12 yards but the goal was chalked off for a handling offence.

After the break, Ashington pieced together two identical moves inside the space of sixty seconds.

From the first, excellent play from Robinson saw him cross to the far post where Sampson’s side footed shot went across the face of the goal.

Then it was full back Jordan Summerly who found Spooner in the same place only for the midfielder’s effort to hit the post.

But just before the midway point of the half, Ashington must have known that it just wasn’t going to be their day when Johnson cut across from right to left and unleashed a goalbound drive from 20 yards. Marrs moved one way then struck out a foot to divert the ball away to safety.

Two minutes later, Andrew Cartwright snatched at a chance firing wide after the ball had rebounded back into his path from a defender then towards the end, Johnson met a right wing corner from Cartwright but his header was directed straight at Marrs.

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Ashington vs West Allotment Celtic

By Brian Bennett

Ashington extended their winning sequence to five matches on Saturday – but only after Ben Harmison had smashed home a dramatic stoppage time penalty against West Allotment Celtic at Woodhorn Lane.

Following torrential and incessant rain in the days leading up to the contest, groundsman Scott Robson had worked wonders to get the pitch in pristine condition.

However, the game itself lacked quality. In Ashington’s case it was a flat performance – but manager Ian Skinner had already forewarned supporters that his side were going to find it difficult to recreate early season displays due to the change in the condition of pitches.

Yet coasting at 2-0 just before the half way mark in the first period, Ashington did things the hard way. After Allotment substitute Liam Beeston had reduced the arrears from the penalty spot, it was all square five minutes later, as Scott McCarthy swept the ball home.

But after a foul by ‘keeper Dan Gladstone on Dan Maguire in the dying seconds, Harmison’s emphatic penalty sent the Ashington fans home happy.

Rewind to the start and Allotment should have been a goal to the good after only six minutes.

A long punt up field by Gladstone squirmed through the home rearguard and left Lucas Lower-Matondo with a glaring one-on-one opportunity.

However, the striker clipped a left foot shot wide of advancing ‘keeper Karl Dryden and past the post.

It was a stoke of luck for the Wansbeck side who then banked up a two goals advantage inside six minutes.

On the quarter hour, Harmison was tripped and pushed in the area by ex Collier Luke Parkinson – who was making his 300th appearance for the visitors – as the home skipper looked to get on the end of a cross by Jordan Summerly.

Referee Tyler Dutton awarded a penalty and Harmison confidently stroked it into the net, sending Gladstone the wrong way.

What was to be the best move of the match arrived in the 21st minute. A cross from Smith was headed superbly by Harmison which laid the ball on a plate for Karl Ross and the midfielder ought to have scored but saw his side footed effort saved by the legs of Gladstone,

However from the rebound, Harmison set up Liam Smith who lashed the ball home left footed from the edge of the area.

A tough dour battle then ensued until things all changed from the 63rd minute when McCarthy had a shot taken down by Dryden.

Three minutes later, the striker made a run of 30 yards until he was fouled in the box by Andrew Cartwright and substitute Beeston tucked home the resultant penalty just inside the post.

Five minutes later, West Allotment levelled when the ball was knocked over from the right and McCarthy hooked it home on the volley from eight yards.

In the third minute of time added on sub Yannick Aziakonou had a tame shot fielded by Gladstone following a free kick and it looked as if it would be the final chance.

But when Maguire pounced on a through ball by Harmison and attempted to round Gladstone, the ‘keeper upended him and for the third time in the contest, referee Dutton pointed to the spot.

Harmison made no mistake, blasting the penalty home as Gladstone moved in the opposite direction – much to the delight of the home supporters in another bumper attendance of over 500.

19 November 2022 - Ashington AFC v. West Allotment Celtic FC

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Northallerton Town vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Over the past few years at Ashington, what has developed into a regular – and popular – feature posted on the club’s social media platforms is the opportunity for players, officials and supporters to take a look at footage of goals and potted highlights from every game.

So when the best parts from Saturday’s Ebac Northern League first division clash at Northallerton were condensed into a mere 67 seconds, it really summed up this drab and abysmal match in a nutshell.

Within a period of ten first half minutes, Colliers nippy striker Dan Maguire carved out two chances for himself. With the first – on the 17 minutes mark – he turned and fired a left footer from the edge of the penalty area which smacked against the woodwork.

Eight minutes later, Maguire’s finish was exquisite. Craig Spooner beat the offside trap, raced down the right and when his shot was pushed out by home ‘keeper Samuel Taylor, Maguire picked up the rebound and after switching the ball from his left foot to his right, thumped it home just inside the post.

It proved to be the winner and extended the Woodhorn Lane club’s winning sequence to four matches.

As a result, it also saw them move into third place in the division – leapfrogging Newton Aycliffe who went down 3-1 against Seaham Red Star.

However, the Colliers could have been behind in the opening minutes following a slip inside the area with Matty Waters having a shot which was turned aside by ‘keeper Karl Dryden. Ben Harmison cleared away from the danger zone but Waters then had a header which was pushed away for a corner by the visiting stopper.

After Maguire had broke the deadlock, he fired over on the stroke of half time and midway through the second period, the forward cut inside but his shot lacked power and was collected by Taylor.

The only other opportunities came in the final 20 minutes. Northallerton sub Kyle Lancaster slice wide before a defensive slip presented an opening to Harmison but he lashed over.

It was clearly a game to forget – only Ashington were delighted after leaving the Calvert Stadium with all three points.

Before kick-off, players, officials and supporters observed an impeccable minutes silence as a mark of respect ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

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Ashington vs Bishop Auckland

By Brian Bennett

On a November day where fireworks displays were being held in the evening, Ashington Football Club produced a unique ‘one of their own’ during the afternoon at Woodhorn Lane which certainly went off with a bang!

In what had been billed as a top of the table six pointer, the Colliers – already leading by a super Lee Mason strike after the first 45 minutes – lit the blue touch paper immediately after the interval as Ian Skinner’s side completely demolished league leaders Bishop Auckland 5-0 with a commanding and ruthless performance in front of a crowd of 621.

In a whole hearted display of non stop action, they crammed three goals inside a five minutes period – the latter a sensational lob from 35 yards by Ben Sampson – which clearly left the visitors shell shocked.

The outstanding result made it three consecutive wins in eight days following on from victories over Thornaby and Whickham. Yet from the outset, it looked as if the Colliers were facing their severest challenge of the campaign so far.

The Two Blues – fresh from a 3-1 win over Northallerton in midweek – were quick out of the blocks and after Marcus Giles had got the better of Ryan McKinnon on the left, the defender recovered well to make a superb tackle inside the box to avert the danger.

Then in the seventh minute Dane Burlace found Louis Johnson in space but after bearing down on goal, the striker was denied by an excellent save by home ‘keeper Karl Dryden who spread himself well to block.

Without doubt, Bishops had been the more composed side, spraying the ball around confidently but in the 25th minute, Ashington had their first opportunity after good approach work by Karl Ross. The midfielder found Dan Maguire whose right footed effort was fisted out by ‘keeper Nick Liversedge.

Then on the half hour, James Fairley tried a shot from distance which went narrowly wide of Dryden’s upright.

However, sixty seconds later, the Colliers went in front with a spectacular strike from Mason.

Sampson picked out Ben Harmison with a diagonal pass and when the home skipper headed the ball across, it fell invitingly into the path of Mason who smashed a sizzling half volley from 20 yards wide of Liversedge and just inside the post.

Ashington began the second period much brighter.

Darren Lough ventured forward and when he found Maguire, the forward passed wide to Harmison but his shot from a tight angle went behind.

Burlace then crossed from the right and the ball fell perfectly for Giles but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Andrew Cartwright.

Harmison gave his side more breathing space in the 58th minute when he added a second.

A cross from Ross was headed on by Harmison to Mason who took a touch past Ben Errington before he was tripped by the defender inside the area.

Blyth-based referee Charlie Ford pointed to the spot and Harmison made no mistake, lashing home the resultant penalty.

From the midway point in the period, the Colliers went through a five minutes purple patch to go nap with goals from Maguire, Harmison and Sampson.

Sampson was the architect behind the first of the trio when he charged into the box and passed to Harmison who calmly flicked the ball to Maguire.

The striker cut inside from right to left then stroked home inside the far corner.

Minutes later, Ross won possession off a defender and cleverly slotted the ball through for substitute Adam Johnson. Johnson’s first touch took it past Liversedge with Harmison sliding in for goal number four,

But in the 72nd minute, supporters were treated to a goal of sheer quality from Sampson.

The midfielder intercepted the ball just inside his own half then after driving forward,  looked up and from fully 35 yards, nonchalantly and audaciously chipped over the advanced Liversedge.

After sub Craig Spooner fired just over from the edge of the box, Dryden ensured a clean sheet for his side with two saves in the closing stages.

The stopper he dived to his right to push aside a free kick by Ciaran Banks then held a header from Weirs.

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Ashington vs Whickham

By Brian Bennett

Ashington survived an early scare before they wrapped up a comfortable 4-1 win over Whickham at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.

The victory was deserved and followed hard on the heels of Saturday’s 2-0 result over Thornaby on Teesside.

Conditions were perfect for the contest – and the Colliers made a great start as they took the lead in the 12th minute.

Good interchanging play between Liam Smith and Ben Sampson saw the latter lay the ball into the path of the overlapping Jordan Summerly.

The full back swung over a terrific inviting cross into the danger zone where skipper Ben Harmison placed a downward header into the net.

However, within 60 seconds, Whickham striker Kaleb Young went to ground inside the area under challenge from Karl Ross and referee Patrick Laws immediately pointed to the spot.

Jamie Dunn stepped forward to take the penalty but as home ‘keeper Karl Dryden dived to his right, the Whickham midfielder blasted the kick high over the bar.

Ashington made their visitors pay dearly for the miss as in the 27th minute the home side added a second after being awarded a free kick 25 yards out.

Andrew Cartwright took it right footed and the ball took a wicked defection off a Whickham defender before it spun and crept just inside the far post leaving ‘keeper Nathan Harker stranded.

Chances were at a premium – but 20 seconds after the interval, the Colliers increased their lead even further.

The ball was knocked forward and after Harmison had challenged upfield, Whickham defender Garon Garside lobbed it over the advanced Harker and into his own net.

Ten minutes later, Harmison came close to adding a fourth.

Karl Ross made a fabulous run down the left flank and when he crossed to the far post, Harmison’s header was goalbound until Harker pushed the ball out in fine style.

Two minutes later when Sam Dibb-Fuller threatened to run inside the Ashington area, he was halted by a superb tackle by Ryan McKinnon.

Just past the hour mark, substitute David Below had a shot held by ‘keeper Karl Dryden before a slick move by the home side involving Harmison, Cartwright and Sampson ended with the latter poking the ball wide of the post.

With quarter of an hour remaining, Ashington manager Ian Skinner made a triple substitution throwing Danny Anderson, Luke Salmon and Adam Johnson into the fray and within two minutes, the latter – after receiving the ball from Ross – cut inside but lashed over.

With eight minutes left on the clock, visitors skipper Dale Burrell reduced the arrears with a superbly struck right footed free-kick from 25 yards then in the next minute, a cross from the right was headed wide by Jamie Dunn.

But in the third minute of time added on, Anderson played a pass through for Spooner who chipped the ball over the advancing Harker for Ashington’s fourth.

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