League: Northumberland Senior Cup

Heaton Stannington vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Ashington are out of this season’s Techflow Marine Northumberland Senior Cup after they went down 3-1 against Heaton Stannington in their quarter final tie at Grounsell Park on Wednesday night.

The Colliers dominated for large periods of what was a rip roaring cup tie played at a furious pace throughout but were made to pay the penalty for a sloppy opening quarter hour as the home side scored twice in ten minutes through Konner Lamb and Jordan Lashley.

In the second half, the Wansbeck side continued to pile on the pressure but a combination of resolute defending by the hosts coupled with Ashington’s poor quality in the final third saw them exit the competition.

And just to rub salt into sore wounds, the home side put the game beyond doubt two minutes from the end of normal time with a third goal by substitute James Proctor.

The two sides have now met on three occasions this season; Heaton Stannington winning twice; the other match drawn – but watched by a crowd of 285, this was the best of the trio.

The game got off to a sensational start as Konner Lamb gave his side the lead in the fifth minute following a slick move.

The Stan played out despite Ashington’s high press and when the ball was played up front, it was flicked through for Lamb who cut inside onto his right foot and curled a sumptuous right footer from the edge of the box which gave ‘keeper Kyle Hayes no chance as it thundered into the far corner.

Ashington hit back forcing successive corners on the left and from the latter, Dean Briggs had an effort cleared off the line.

In the tenth minute, Karl Ross slotted the ball through for Craig Spooner but his shot was saved by ‘keeper Greg Purvis and Dan Maguire was off target from the rebound.

Heaton stunned their visitors when they added a second on the quarter hour.

Andrew Cartwright lost possession inside his own half and after a shot was deflected across the box, ex Ashington striker Jordan Lashley slotted home.

And only the sharp reflexes of Hayes prevented a third in the 24th minute.

Daniel Stephenson took a left footed free-kick which was tipped onto the post and behind for a corner by the ‘keeper.

Ashington continued to press but Briggs lashed an effort over and Spooner drove a foot wide of the upright following a cross by Ben Sampson.

However they got a lifeline five minutes before the interval when Briggs advanced into the area before he was sent sprawling by a tackle from a defender.

Referee Darren Williams awarded a penalty and Damen Mullen emphatically despatched the spot kick into the top corner of the net.

It was a half which the Colliers didn’t want to end – but after the break they nevertheless picked up where they left off, totally dominating the ball but lacking a cutting edge up top.

Indeed inside the first couple of minutes, Cartwright found Sampson and when he crossed, Briggs had a shot blocked then Maguire had an effort superbly turned around by Purvis.

But that was as good as it got for the Colliers and although they continually knocked on the door, the home outfit showed great determination and resilience to keep it firmly shut.

Then in the 88th minute, Hayes made a spectacular save as he dived full length to his right to keep out a free kick from Nicholas Cassidy but substitute Proctor pounced to slot home the rebound.

The win sees The Stan move into the semi finals where they will face the winners of the North Shields v Blyth Spartans clash on home soil.

West Allotment Celtic vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Two goals in the final ten minutes from Ben Harmison and Liam Smith saw Ashington advance into the second round of the Northumberland Senior Cup after a 3-1 victory over West Allotment Celtic at the East Palmersville Sports Pavilion on Tuesday night.

In a game similar in many ways to Saturday’s 2-0 win over Penrith, the Colliers deserved to go through – but they came up against a West Allotment Celtic side that battled all the way.

Indeed after Paul Robinson had fired the Wansbeck outfit ahead, Celtic got back on terms through substitute Joe Conway before skipper Harmison netted from the penalty spot then Liam Smith scored his first goal in Ashington colours.

A heavy downpour before the game made the surface tricky especially in the opening minutes with several players struggling to keep their feet.

West had shouts for a penalty turned down in the third minute. A ball into the box saw Ryan McKinnon’s header go wide of the advancing Adrian Janusz with the ‘keeper and Connor Campbell colliding but referee Nick Vincent turned down appeals.

Minutes later, Harrison Devine shanked an effort wide then when play switched, Luke Salmon charged down the left flank but his shot went wide of the far post.

There was little to enthuse the crowd but just before the half hour mark, Craig Spooner went on a 40 yards run which ended with his right footer off target.

Callum Larmouth played a one-two but clipped an effort past the upright before McKinnon met a right wing corner by Andrew Cartwright but saw his header cleared off the line.

The final incident of the period came in the 39th minute when a shot from Liam Beeston was pushed away for a corner by Janusz.

Early in the second half, Campbell was through but didn’t get enough purchase on his attempted lob over Janusz with the ‘keeper claiming the ball comfortably.

However, Ashington took the lead in the 48th minute with a superlative strike from Paul Robinson.

Danny Anderson’s ball to the far post was headed back by Harmison and Robinson’s venomous right footer from 22 yards flew into the back of the net past Celtic’s startled ‘keeper Jed Scott.

Jake Forster went close with a header for the home side then Robinson tried an audacious lob from distance which dropped narrowly wide.

Spooner cut inside but fired past the post then a 25 yarder by substitute Karl Ross was tipped over by Scott.

The home side drew level in the 78th minute following a move down the left and when the ball reached Conway, he turned sharply before driving wide of Janusz.

But two minutes later, the Colliers were back in front when Smith played the ball through to Salmon who was upended in the area.

Referee Vincent immediately pointed to the spot and Harmison made no mistake, sending Scott the wrong way.

Ashington had another couple of chances before they added a third with the last kick of the game.

Robinson’s ball into the box saw Harmison’s header superbly kept out by Scott but the ball ran to Smith who fired in.

2022-23 (All Competitions)

Competitions Included: Northern Football League, Northern Football League Division 1 Cup, Cleator Cup, FA Cup, FA Vase and Northumberland Senior Cup.

2022-23 (All Competitions) (Programme)

Competitions Included: Northern Football League, Northern Football League Division 1 Cup, Cleator Cup, FA Cup, FA Vase and Northumberland Senior Cup.