Consett vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Ashington bridged an eight year gap on Saturday when they edged out Consett by the odd goal in five with Connor Thomson bagging a late winner.

The venue has never been a happy hunting ground for the Colliers although in more recent times, the two outfits have contested exciting battles – like the 4-4 draw two seasons ago.

Paul Van-Zandvliet gave the Wansbeck side a dream start with a goal inside the first minute before Dan Capewell equalised on the stroke of half time.

With 20 minutes remaining, Charlie Exley came off the bench to restore Ashington’s lead but shortly afterwards Capewell was on hand to level for a second time – before Thomson struck what proved to be the clincher.

Central defender Si Jakab was ruled out with illness and there was a surprise when Nathan Buddle – who has been sidelined for the past two and a half months whilst recovering from two slipped discs – was named in the starting line up.

The Wansbeck side also scaled new heights on Saturday as they completely took control of the first 45 minutes and bossed possession – something which they had not done before at the Belle View Stadium.

The Colliers got off to the best possible start by taking the lead after only 24 seconds.

A quick exchange of passes between Wilson Kneeshaw and Thomson released the former down the right. He cut inside and when his shot was parried across by ‘keeper James Anderson, Van-Zandvliet pounced to slot home the rebound left footed from six yards.

On the quarter hour, Van-Zandvliet had a shot from the edge of the area turned around by Anderson before Consett had their first sniff when Wil Shaw dragged a right footer wide.

The best move of the period came in the 36th minute and ended with a gilt edged opportunity for the visitors. Thomson pulled the ball back but Van-Zandvliet struck his effort well off target.

Ashington ‘keeper Karl Dryden made a brilliant save tipping a Calvin Smith thunderbolt over the bar but in the dying seconds of the half, Dryden pushed the ball out and it fell straight at the feet of Capewell who forced it home.

There was a quiet start to the second half until Thomson had a shot blocked.

On the 65 minutes mark, Ashington manager Ian Skinner made a double change introducing Cam Gascoigne and Charlie Exley.

Within seconds, Gascoigne had an effort held by Anderson then the two substitutes combined with stunning effect with 20 minutes of the 90 remaining.

Buddle headed the ball into the box, Gascoigne laid it off and Exley – playing against his former club – produced a venomous low finish.

However Ashington’s joy was short-lived as within a minute, Consett were level.

They had posed a threat from set plays and corners and following a flag kick on the left, Capewell added his second of the afternoon from close range.

Incredibly, Ben Ramsey was not far away with a 25 yarder before Dryden pulled off excellent saves from substitute Zak Atkinson and Jake Orrell.

At the other end, Thomson linked with Craig Spooner whose cross saw Kneeshaw just fail to connect in front of goal.

But in the 85th minute, Ashington got the winner.

Substitute Darren Lough passed to Thomson and the striker unleashed a power drive from 18 yards which took a deflection to sail over Anderson and dip just under the crossbar.

However, a game which had started in dramatic fashion almost had a late twist as in the second minute of stoppage time Capewell missed out on a chance to complete his hat-trick as he headed just wide.


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.


Consett vs Ashington


Consett vs Ashington


Consett vs Ashington