Season: 2021-22

Ashington vs Newcastle Benfield

By Brian Bennett

Ashington bridged a nine year gap on Bank Holiday Monday when they deservedly lifted the Ebac Northern League Division One Cup after victory over Newcastle Benfield at North Shields’s Daren Persson Stadium.

It was back in 2013 when the Colliers last won silverware as they clinched the Northumberland Senior Cup during Gary Middleton’s reign as manager with a 3-0 success over Whitley Bay at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park.

And on Monday, in what was the fifth clash of the season between the two sides this season, the win was both comfortable and convincing as the Colliers tore their opponents apart – literally from kick-off.

That’s when Dean Briggs won the ball on the half way line which was pounced on by Lewis Suddick.

All of a sudden, Benfield were wide open at the back with Suddick having acres of space to advance down the right flank and when he pulled the ball square, Paul Robinson blasted into the roof of the net with the goal logged at 32 seconds.

The goal sent the terrific following of fans from Wansbeck into raptures but as the Ashington contingent celebrated, there were further problems for the visitors when their long serving goalkeeper Andrew Grainger received lengthy treatment after appearing to collide with the goalpost.

Benfield’s first sorte downfield came in the seventh minute when former Collier Ryan McGorrigan charged down the left but his cross was cleared.

The Wansbeck outfit doubled their lead on the quarter hour – from the spot.

Briggs made his way into the area where he went to ground under a challenge from a Benfield defender. Referee Glen Hart pointed for a penalty and Suddick made no mistake as he rolled the ball inside the bottom corner.

Ashington could have added to their tally after two fine moves inside 90 seconds.

Skipper Ben Harmison’s header found Briggs who passed to Craig Spooner but he curled his effort wide of Grainger’s left hand upright.

Then a well worked free kick involving Suddick, Robinson and Jordan Summerly ended with a centre by the latter going across the face of goal.

Ashington had been in control of the first period – and little changed after the break.

Indeed they could have made an identical start to the second half as they had to the first when Ben Sampson got possession but fired narrowly over the bar from distance.

However in the 56th minute, what was to be the goal of the game was scored by Paul Robinson.

Sampson claimed the assist as he feigned to shoot then laid a pass off for Robinson who ran onto the ball and whipped a brilliant right footer from the edge of the area inside the top corner leaving Grainger helpless.

Three minutes later, Benfield ought to have reduced the arrears when following a corner on the left, skipper Mark Turnbull headed wide at the far post after a cross from Cameron Gascoigne.

However sixty seconds later, the Newcastle side did get on the score sheet when Aiden Haley drove a low effort from the edge of the box inside ‘keeper Adam McHugh’s left hand post.

But two minutes later, Ashington restored their three goals lead following a sweeping move from left to right.

It ended with Suddick finding Briggs and the striker slotted home, squeezing a shot between Grainger and his post.

Suddick cut inside but saw his shot blocked for a corner then McGorrigan had the ball in the Ashington net but the goal was disallowed for offside.

The closing minutes saw Benfield’s Turnbull and Brad Varga receive yellow cards whilst Dennis Knight saw red following a foul on Summerly.

But after the final whistle, it was Ashington skipper Ben Harmison who proudly held aloft the Cup following a dominant display.


Consett vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Dean Briggs surely scored Ashington’s ‘goal of the season’ in an eight goal thriller against Consett at Belle Vue – with an outrageous strike seconds before the half time whistle.

Two nil ahead just past the quarter hour mark and 4-2 up early in the second period, the Colliers eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils. Over the 90 minutes it was probably the right outcome – but it was Briggs who provided the main talking point of a game which was littered with chances throughout.

His moment to savour arrived in the third minute of time added on for stoppages when just inside the Consett half, he looked up, spotted home ‘keeper Kyle Hayes off his line and promptly clipped the ball over the stopper and into the net.

That goal saw Briggs’s side take a 3-2 lead at half time – and Consett must be pleased that they haven’t got to face the midfielder turned striker any more this season.

Briggs netted twice in midweek – his second which provided the knockout punch – as Ashington won an epic semi final clash against Consett in the Ebac Northern League Division One Cup and it was Briggs who the Steelmen found too hot to handle on a warm sunny afternoon, in Saturday’s encounter.

The teams have served up plenty of thrills and spills in their three meetings this term with a 3-3 draw at Woodhorn Lane followed by Ashington’s 4-3 cup semi final win and this exciting eight goal feast.

And literally both sides could have struck up double figures on Saturday. After only two minutes, Consett went close with Colin Larkin’s glancing header going just wide then an effort by Scott Heslop shaved the post. Seconds later, an almighty scramble took place inside the Ashington box, including a save from ‘keeper Adam McHugh before the ball was eventually cleared.

However, Ashington’s response was to hit Consett with two goals in three minutes.

The first arrived when Briggs capitalised on hesitancy in the home rearguard to chip the ball over the advancing Hayes then Lewis Suddick blasted home from seven yards after Jordan Summerly’s shot had been blocked by the home ‘keeper.

But three minutes later, Heslop headed in at the far post to reduce the arrears then ex Collier Pearson levelled matters in the 33rd taking the ball down and rifling a left footer past McHugh.

Carl Lawson went close at one end then Briggs escaped his marker down the left and his shot saw Hayes get the slightest of touches to deflect it past the upright.

Lewis Green smacked a shot against the bar before that sublime goal from Briggs arrived seconds from half time.

Seven minutes into the second period, Ashington went into a 4-2 lead with a brilliantly worked goal. Ben Sampson’s defence splitting pass found the overlapping Doyle in the area and when Hayes went to close Doyle down, the full back squared the ball for Suddick to hammer into an empty net.

Both ‘keepers made saves before Briggs was through in the 65th minute but his side footed effort rolled agonisingly wide of Hayes’s right hand post.

Minutes later, a free kick by Jake Orrell smacked against the bar and Green’s shot from the rebound was turned around by McHugh.

However in the 70th minute following a throw in on the left, Calvin Smith got the final touch to make it 3-4.

Paul Robinson flashed a drive just over then Green weaved in and out before his effort was held by McHugh.

Six minutes from time, Orrell equalised for the home side with an excellent right footed free kick from 25 yards and the non stop action continued to the final whistle.

In the 87th minute, Ashington had Curtis Coppen sent to the sin bin by referee Helen Conley then in the closing stages, Hayes denied substitute Jordan Lashley and Sampson before Doyle rifled just wide then a break by Lashley saw him find the unmarked Spooner but he trod on the ball at the vital time and the chance evaporated.


Ashington vs Consett

By Brian Bennett

Ashington are through to the final of the Ebac Northern League Cup after deservedly edging a seven goal thriller against Consett at The dwmedia Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Colliers led 3-1 at the break and the Steelmen’s task became more difficult when they had Calvin Smith sent off on the hour.

But in a barnstorming finale, the visitors brought the game level with goals from Scott Heslop and an 83rd minute penalty from Colin Larkin.

However there was even more drama as Ashington striker Dean Briggs volleyed home two minutes later for what proved to be the winner.

The Colliers made a positive start and took the lead in the fifth minute when a corner on the left by Lewis Suddick was glanced on by Craig Spooner. ‘Keeper Kyle Hayes spilled the ball and skipper Ben Harmison pounced to turn in the rebound.

Consett drew level within three minutes when David Dowson headed the ball on for Carl Lawson who struck a terrific right footer from the edge of the box which went wide of ‘keeper Adam McHugh and just inside the post.

Ashington continued to probe. In the 20th minute, Bobby Taylor had a shot fisted away by Hayes and seconds later, Yannick Aziakonou played a delightful pass over the top of a defender to Jordan Summerly who advanced before sweeping the ball across Hayes with a controlled finish to put the Colliers 2-1 in front.

Back came Consett and after Lawson’s effort had been cleared off the line by Aziakonou at one end, Briggs picked up a loose ball five yards inside the Consett half, accelerated past a defender and slotted right footed into the far corner to make it 3-1.

And Ashington weren’t finished there either. On the half hour, Curtis Coppen won possession and laid the ball off for Briggs who spotted Hayes off his line and tried an audacious effort from just inside the Consett half which was not far off target.

Sixty seconds later, following a great move, Briggs narrowly failed to connect with a deep cross from the right by Liam Doyle.

Early doors after the break, Doyle made an important tackle in the box to thwart Larkin then Harmison played the ball into the path of Briggs whose 25 yarder was parried away by Hayes.

On the hour, the visitors were reduced to ten men when Smith fouled Summerly just over the half way line and referee Kieran Downey brandished the red card to the Consett defender.

In the 64th minute, Ashington missed out on a double opportunity to make it 4-1 when Doyle was the supplier of another cross from the right where Briggs and Taylor both had shots blocked by Hayes then Briggs had a centre cleared off the line by Alex Francis.

However in the 73rd minute, slack marking from a Consett corner on the left allowed Heslop a free header which he buried past McHugh.

Ten minutes later, a challenge by Doyle on Consett substitute Dale Pearson saw referee Downey point to the spot and Larkin stepped up to send McHugh the wrong way for the equaliser.

But the Colliers rallied superbly from the kick off to regain the lead in sensational fashion when that man Briggs – playing against his former side – took a pass from Spooner to volley inside the corner wide of Hayes.

However with 20 seconds of stoppage time remaining, McHugh crucially clutched onto a goal bound shot from Heslop before the final whistle sparked off scenes of jubilation from the home supporters.

After the final whistle, Consett defender Darren Holden was sent off for the use of foul and abusive language.

Ashington’s opponents in the final will be Sunderland Ryhope CW or Newcastle Benfield who meet in the other semi final on Saturday April 23.


Ashington vs Thornaby

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.


Ashington vs Guisborough Town

Br Brian Bennett

Ashington marched into the semi finals of the Division One Cup on Tuesday night after brushing Guisborough Town aside at The dwmedia Stadium.

The Colliers will now host Consett next Tuesday (April 12) with a place in the final for the winners.

A quickfire double from Craig Spooner early in the contest set the Colliers on their way and although Priorymen skipper Joseph Bartliff reduced the arrears five minutes before the break with a stunning effort, Ben Sampson’s first goal of the season – which made the scoreline 3-1 – could not have come at a better time.

The Wansbeck outfit deserved their success on the night and banished the blues after losing heavily 6-1 at home against the Teessiders in their Ebac Northern League first division clash recently.

The only downside on the night for Ian Skinner’s side was the dismissal of Luke Salmon. The midfielder – who had already been cautioned on the half hour for a challenge towards the half way line – needlessly erred again with only two minutes of the 90 remaining and was shown a straight red card by referee Kirk Freeth.

That apart, Ashington were in the mood right from the start as they kicked into the teeth of a strong wind. Indeed skipper Ben Harmison – who despite wearing the number six shirt played up front – had the ball in the net after only four minutes following a free-kick by Dean Briggs but the goal was ruled out for offside.

In the Colliers next raid, Ben Sampson charged through the middle before laying the ball off to Spooner whose low right footer was held by Guisborough ‘keeper Robert Dean.

The visitors failed to heed the warning and within the space of three minutes, Spooner not only gave his side the lead but also added a second – with both goals coming from a similar distance.

The first on 14 minutes stemmed from another free kick from the left which was pumped towards the far post by Briggs and when the ball broke to Spooner, he fired home from the edge of the area.

Spooner’s second was even better. Liam Doyle and Sampson linked neatly down the right flank and when the ball was played inside, Spooner glided past his marker before striking a superb left footer from 20 yards which left Dean helpless.

It was just the start Ashington had been looking for and in the 21st minute, Briggs found Harmison at the far post and when he pulled the ball back, Spooner came close to completing a hat-trick as his effort drifted narrowly wide.

Minutes later, another restart by Briggs was held by Dean diving to his right but as the half wore on, the visitors served notice that this cup quarter final was far from over.

In the 37th minute, Cole Kiernan almost pulled one back after a brilliant piece of skill. He received a pass some 25 yards out and instinctively teed the ball up for himself before striking a right foot volley which whistled inches past the post with Ashington ‘keeper Adam McHugh rooted to the spot.

However four minutes later, skipper Bartliff brought his side back into the contest with a sublime effort. The ball was played across from the left where Bartliff squeezed a volley from 22 yards between McHugh and the upright.

Early in the second period, Benjamin Jackson fired wide before there was action at both ends of the field within the matter of minutes.

Just before the hour mark, Spooner turned on a sixpence but saw his left footed shot held by Dean. Shortly afterwards, Yannick Aziakonou played the ball up to Harmison who flicked on for Salmon but he was also denied by Dean.

When play switched, Jackson – up in the attack again – saw his goalbound shot saved by the legs of McHugh.

However, midway through the half, Ashington got the cushion of a two goal lead. Briggs played the ball into the area where Sampson’s initial shot was blocked but the ricochet ran straight into the path of the home midfielder who side footed inside the far post, wide of Dean.

Seconds later, Jordan Summerly went close to a fourth after cutting inside from the left and driving just wide.

Ashington managed the game and kept Guisborough at Bay – but with time running out, the Colliers were reduced to ten men after Salmon’s indiscretion.


Billingham Town vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Ashington’s levels of performance which has been so unpredictable over the past few weeks continued on Saturday when they had the game in the palm of their hands against basement side Billingham Town but contrived to press the self destruct button and ended up sharing the spoils.

The Colliers held an early 2-0 lead on Teesside but five minutes into the second found themselves trailing 3-2. Substitute Jordan Lashley equalised and in the closing stages whilst Ashington could have won the contest, equally they could have lost it as well.

Ian Skinner’s side made an electrifying start with two well crafted goals in the opening ten minutes. The first arrived in the sixth minute when Ben Sampson played the ball into the danger zone for Jamie Hanson who steered a right footer past ‘keeper Jack Norton from six yards.

The second was almost a carbon copy of the first. Again the build up came down the right only on this occasion Max Cowburn whipped over a cross and after Hanson’s shot had been blocked by Norton, Luke Salmon hammered home the rebound.

It could have been three in the 19th minute when Sampson and Lewis Suddick combined but when the latter put the ball into the area, Hanson’s header was fractionally wide of the far post.

However, midway through the period, Billingham halved the deficit. Oliver Cann chipped the ball into the middle from near the by line for the unmarked Terry Stephenson to head home.

A significant turning point came in the next minute. Karl Ross found Cowburn and when he centred, Hanson – on the stretch – saw his effort come back into play after hitting the base of the post.

Five minutes later, the scores were level. Salmon’s back-heel in the area was punished to the full as Daniel Boyle fired wide of Adam McHugh and inside the upright.

And in the second minute of stoppage time, Andrew Nelson spurned a marvellous opportunity to put the hosts ahead after wriggling free of the visitors defence to be clean through but McHugh came to Ashington’s rescue clutching the full back’s left footer.

Billingham started the second half the brighter of the two outfits and in the 50th minute, they got their noses in front after a free-kick from the right was knocked over to the far side of the area. When it was played back into the centre, Cann fired home.

Ashington appealed for a foul on Ben Harmison, and were reduced to ten men when Curtis Coppen was sin binned for ten minutes but on the hour mark, Cowburn raided down the flank and his cross found Suddick whose effort went wide of Norton only to smack against the woodwork.

McHugh was called into the action on 65 minutes pushing out a shot from substitute Ashley Lavan before the Colliers had a string of opportunities to draw level.

A free-kick by Suddick was narrowly missed at the back post by the inrushing Sampson then following another Suddick restart, Ross lifted the ball over.

Ashington introduced Tom Bramley pushing Harmison up front and ten minutes from time the visiting skipper failed to get a proper connection onto a long searching cross from the right by Liam Doyle.

Jordan Lashley – whose four goals after coming on as a sub changed the outcome of the result at Redcar – replaced the injured Hanson and came up trumps in the 83rd minute.

Coppen’s long ball forward was played into Lashley’s path by Harmison and the substitute made no mistake with an emphatic left footed finish from 14 yards wide of Norton.

It was game-on for the closing stages. Lashley was clean through with only Norton to beat but got no height on his attempted chip over the advanced Norton who was grateful to pouch.

A ball played in by Suddick hit the bar and was cleared to safety then the midfielder was just off target with a free kick from 20 yards.

At the other end, Cameron Painter’s shot in the third minute of five which was added on, was shifted from inside the six yards box by Coppen and with virtually the last kick of the game, Salmon got back to prevent a Billingham winner as he made make a brilliant goal-line clearance.


Ashington vs Newton Aycliffe

By Brian Bennett

Two goals in the first half from striker Liam Jarvie condemned Ashington to a fourth consecutive league defeat – and third in a row on their home ground – as Newton Aycliffe became the latest outfit to leave Woodhorn Lane with easy pickings on Saturday.

Until recently, the Colliers had been having a decent season and at one stage they were even one win away from being second top of the first division of the Ebac Northern League. However they had also leaked far too many goals on their travels as they conceded five at West Auckland, Thornaby and Whickham and four at Crook Town.

Now their home record has come under scrutiny – and when Ian Skinner’s side go to face basement side Billingham Town on Saturday (April 2), they’ll be glad to see the back of March.

The Wansbeck side had suffered only three defeats on home soil all season in 15 outings – until this month when Seaham Red Star, Guisborough Town and Newton Aycliffe have all claimed maximum points.

However, the recurring theme is that Ashington not only give goals away – they gift wrap them as well – and such was the case on a beautiful spring day at The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday.

There was little to choose between the two sides early doors in what was a very cagey opening – until the tenth minute when the Colliers allowed Jarvie to charge through the middle and plant a right footer from the edge of the area, wide of ‘keeper Adam McHugh.

On the quarter hour, Aycliffe ‘keeper Adam Pickford touched over a goalbound free-kick from 25 yards by Max Cowburn then skipper Ben Harmison played the ball sideways for Danny Anderson to drive wide.

Jordan Lashley, Dean Briggs and Cowburn then combined but the latter directed his effort over the bar.

On what was National non-league day, the game was flat and lack lustre with no real tempo to it – but two minutes before the interval, the visitors doubled their advantage.

Anderson was caught in possession and although the midfielder chased back to make a tackle on Jarvie in the area, he was penalised for a foul with Jarvie sending McHugh the wrong way from the resultant spot kick.

Within the opening minute of the second period, Lashley fired off target from distance then Briggs released Ben Sampson who scooped the ball wide.

There was more intensity from the home side but another promising move fizzled out after Liam Doyle and Anderson had played a one-two with the full back over running the ball.

However in the 65th minute, a key turning point arrived when Briggs missed a sitter to reduce the arrears. He seized on a back-pass and side stepped the advancing Pickford but with an open goal at his mercy, under hit his effort which allowed Aycliffe skipper Aaron Brown to clear the ball off the line.

Pre match Skinner had been boosted with Sampson and Tom Bramley both declaring themselves fit – the latter after being side lined for over six months – and midway through the half, Skinner rolled the dice by throwing Bramley into the fray at centre back and pushing Harmison up front.

The move paid dividends with Harmison giving Ashington a presence up front and causing problems for the visiting back four.

And in the 81st minute, it was Harmison who halved the deficit firing home after Jamie Hanson had unselfishly pulled the ball back.

Referee Graeme Hopper remained unmoved after the Colliers had three separate shouts for a penalty – two for handball and the other for a foul on Hanson – then in the fifth minute of time added on, McHugh pushed the ball out to deny Andrei-Vasile Ardelean.

Photo Gallery: Ian Brodie

26 March 2022 - Ashington AFC v. Newton Aycliffe FC


Ashington vs Guisborough Town

By Brian Bennett

Striker Cole Kiernan netted a hat-trick as Guisborough hit Ashington for six at The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday.

At the same time, the Colliers picked up an unwanted treble of their own – a third consecutive league defeat – in what was a mistake ridden as well as an abject performance in front of their own fans.

The reverse was Ashington’s heaviest home defeat since October 2020 when they went down 6-1 against Hebburn Town in a season which was later curtailed.

Ian Skinner’s side went into the contest fielding a makeshift back four with Yannick Aziakonou and new signing Owen Gourley in the centre of defence.

Apart from a win at Thornaby in the Division One Cup, the Wansbeck outfit have recently nosedived in form but after they made a decent start on Saturday, no-one saw this level of performance or scoreline coming.

Early doors, Guisborough’s Ben Jackson cut inside and his rasping drive was fisted away by home ‘keeper Karl Dryden.

Ashington responded with a delicate flick by Bobby Taylor finding Liam Doyle down the right flank but his cross was intercepted.

Two minutes later Lewis Suddick and Taylor combined on the counter but when the latter centred, Craig Spooner missed his connection.

Again a good move started off by Gourley’s free-kick and also involving Danny Anderson, Paul Robinson and Jordan Summerly ended with a disappointing cross.

Midway through the period, came a key turning point. Anderson and Robinson worked a short corner on the left and when the former laid the ball off square, Spooner’s fizzing 20 yarder was repelled by ‘keeper Robert Dean.

Two minutes later and Ashington were on their slippery slope. They failed to deal with a long ball played forward with Louis Johnson sweeping a right footer wide of Dryden from 12 yards.

Nicholas Hood placed a header a yard past the upright before Kiernan got the first of his treble on the half hour. Dryden and Summerly got into a mix up and when Johnson nipped in, he pulled the ball back for Kiernan who slotted home.

The Colliers had a great chance to reduce the arrears minutes later. Dean Briggs found Suddick through the middle but he toe poked the ball straight at Dean.

Five minutes after the break, another chance went begging as Briggs delivered a cross from the right but Suddick’s header was directed straight at Dean.

In the 51st minute, the game was effectively over after the home side had lost possession. Johnson whipped the ball across for Kiernan to hammer in.

On the hour, both sides were reduced to ten men. Ashington’s Robinson was red carded after a tackle on the half way line and in the aftermath, Keelan Wright-Simpson – who had been booked just prior to the interval – was shown a second yellow.

Ten minutes after being introduced, Guisborough sub Sam Webster’s effort from the edge of the box went across Dryden and inside the top corner to make it 4-0.

Ashington pulled a goal back on 65 minutes when sub Jordan Lashley slotted the ball through for Suddick who was sent sprawling inside the area.

Referee Zac Kennard-Kettle pointed to the spot and Suddick sent Dean the wrong way.

But minutes later, the Priorymen restored their four goals advantage when Karl Ross fouled Johnson in the box and Kiernan completed his hat-trick from the resultant penalty.

And things went from bad to worse five minutes from time when Webster got his second squirming a low left footer from 20 yards through the narrowest of gaps between Dryden and his post.


Ashington vs Seaham Red Star

By Brian Bennett

Jordan Lashley’s stoppage time strike came too late for a ten man Ashington side to salvage anything from their Ebac Northern League first division clash against Seaham Red Star at The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday.

After turning in their worst display of the season the previous weekend which culminated in a 4-2 defeat at Northallerton, Ian Skinner’s side responded superbly in midweek at Thornaby with a solitary goal by Luke Salmon booking them a quarter final place in the First division Cup.

However, playing at home for the first time in three weeks, Ashington’s performance plummeted again with boss Skinner later labelling the display as ‘frustrating.’

The Colliers were caught cold and consequently left chasing the game in the opening phase of the contest as two goals inside the first seven minutes from Danny Sayer put the Star firmly in control of proceedings.

His first came in the fifth minute when Seaham forced a corner on the left and when the ball was swung in, it was flicked on to Sayer who headed home at the back post from close range.

Two minutes later, a sweeping counter attacking move resulted in the second as the ball was switched out to the left where the over lapping Sayer slotted his effort across home ‘keeper Karl Dryden and inside the far corner.

Ashington’s first threat came in the 11th minute when a long ball from Danny Anderson aimed for Luke Salmon saw Seaham ‘keeper Andrew Jennison get there first to punch out.

Things could have got worse for the home side too as Thomas Bott stroked wide following a free-kick and after Ashington’s Curtis Coppen had been sent to the sin bin for ten minutes, Louis Robinson had the ball in the net but was flagged offside.

The Colliers showed signs of improvement after the break and substitute Craig Spooner played the ball through to Dean Briggs who lobbed narrowly over the advancing Jennison from the edge of the area.

A cross from Ashington’s Anderson clipped the bar but chances were few and far between.

Sayer fired over following a corner on the right then just past the hour mark, Seaham striker Adam Lennox was sin binned.

With quarter of an hour remaining of normal time left, Ashington’s afternoon went from bad to worse when having used all three substitutes, they were forced to play out the remaining time with ten men when Adam Johnson was forced off through injury.

However, in stoppage time, they halved the deficit when skipper Ben Harmison – pushed up front as a striker – glanced on for Lashley who hammered the ball in left footed from 18 yards.

The goal was too little too late and the result saw the Star complete a league double over the Colliers after recording a 2-1 victory at Seaham Town Park in October.


Thornaby vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

An early goal from Luke Salmon proved to be the defining moment as Ashington marched through to the quarter finals of the Ebac Northern League First Division Cup after a hard fought but deserved victory over Thornaby at Teesdale Park on Wednesday night.

However, the visitors win came at a cost as central defender Thomas Kalthoeber was stretchered off on the hour with a hamstring injury.

The clash between the hosts – second in the table – against fourth placed Ashington was never a classic. However, it was a double riposte by Ian Skinner’s side who were completely out of sorts last weekend when they went down 4-2 at Northallerton, and who were well beaten 5-0 by Thornaby in the league clash between the two clubs on Teesside in early November.

But ultimately it was the energetic Salmon who came up trumps on the night, nipping in at the far post between a defender and goalkeeper Quinaceo Hunt to head home a left footed cross by Adam Johnson.

His moment of glory arrived in the 13th minute and could not have come at a more apt time for the Colliers who had been under the cosh from the first whistle.

Thornaby were slick and incisive as they moved the ball around with confidence and in the third minute, a dangerous looking cross from the right by Elliott Beddow was pushed away to safety by ‘keeper Karl Dryden.

The pressure continued and later skipper Lee Moore fired over from the edge of the area after another flowing move.

But the game changed in an instant when Salmon pounced to put his side in front.

All of a sudden the goal settled the Colliers down and looking solid as a defensive unit, they went on to be the better side in the opening half.

They had chances to add to the lead too.

Midway through the period, the excellent Jordan Summerly and Salmon combined down the left and when the latter crossed, the ball was cleared for a corner.

Ashington went closer in the 33rd minute when Salmon – in the thick of the action – and Liam Doyle linked with Doyle’s right footer missing the far post by inches.

Two minutes later Salmon won the ball back in midfield and fed Johnson who turned but his left footed effort went narrowly wide.

And just before the break, Doyle found Johnson who fired just past the post with a first time shot.

Early doors after the break, it was the visitors who threatened again.

Within the first minute, Johnson cut inside and unleashed a left footer wide then Salmon met a cross from the right by Ben Sampson but headed wide of the near post.

On the hour mark, Craig Hutchinson and Luke Hogan linked well and just as the latter was about to shoot, Kalthoeber made a brilliant last ditch tackle. However in doing so, the defender was injured and was replaced by Yannick Aziakonou.

In the final half hour, there was plenty of endeavour from both sides but the only real chance fell Ashington’s way when Sampson played the ball out wide to Danny Anderson and from his cross, Salmon headed over.