Redcar Athletic vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Ashington produced one of their best performances of the season to comfortably brush Redcar Athletic aside at Green Lane on Saturday.

Goals from Dan Maguire, Darren Lough and substitute Lee Mason accounted for the Steelmen who went into the clash with four consecutive wins behind them.

Newton Aycliffe – who topped the division beforehand – saw their match at home to West Allotment Celtic subject of a late call off after torrential rain and consequently Ashington’s victory saw the Colliers go joint top of the division, only separated by goal difference.

However, whilst the Wansbeck outfit have no fixture in midweek, third placed Bishop Auckland who are one point behind, are at home to Whickham on Tuesday and Aycliffe travel to face Crook Town the following night so the situation could change again!

Nevertheless, Ashington’s home clash against Newton Aycliffe on Saturday (March 25) promises to be a real humdinger with a bumper crowd expected at Woodhorn Lane on Non League Day.

On a mild afternoon on the Yorkshire coast, Ian Skinner’s side started well. With only 90 seconds on the clock, Dean Briggs fed the over lapping Jordan Summerly down the left and the full back put over a first time ball which went begging after flashing across the face of goal.

Minutes later, it was Summerly again who provided a deep cross which was well defended by James Paylor at the far post, who headed the ball behind for a corner with Ben Harmison ready to pounce.

In the ninth minute, the visitors deservedly opened the scoring. Home ‘keeper Jack Norton made a hash of a clearance which fell to Briggs. He passed forward to Maguire and the striker advanced before curling a sweet right footer from the edge of the area into the corner of the net.

Ashington continued to have the upper hand and it was past the half hour mark before Redcar had their first shot at goal with Craig Hutchinson clipping a left foot effort wide from 20 yards.

Ahead of the break, Maguire played Craig Spooner through but his effort was turned over by Norton.

Ashington began the second half in identical fashion to the first. Within the opening minute, Harmison hooked on a throw in by Andrew Cartwright which released Briggs but after cutting inside, his effort was held by Norton.

Seven minutes in, Redcar were reduced to ten men when midfielder Reece Kenney – who had been booked in the first period – stopped a promising attack on the half way line as he fouled Briggs and was shown a second yellow card followed by a red by referee Barry Tones.

Ashington tried to press home their advantage which started when Robbie Dale’s through pass found Maguire who crossed but Harmison missed connecting by millimetres. After that, Briggs had an effort deflected whilst Lough, Maguire and Cartwright all narrowly missed the target.

Midway through, Ashington almost pressed the self destruct button as they tried to play out from the back.

They lost possession and ‘keeper Karl Dryden – after initially parrying a shot from Hutchinson – moved swiftly to brilliantly block the follow up effort from Brandon Holdsworth.

Norton denied Maguire and Briggs but there was nothing the stopper could do in the 74th minute as Lough gave the Colliers a two goals cushion.

Harmison glanced on a corner from the right by Cartwright and Lough – at the far post – headed home.

And things just got better and better as ten minutes later, Mason finished off an excellent team goal.

Cartwright and Spooner were involved at the beginning of the move before Sampson played the ball through for Spooner whose cross from near the by line saw Mason apply the finishing touch.

In stoppage time, Norton blocked from Mason then the ‘keeper saved in spectacular fashion to deny substitute Karl Ross.


Redcar Athletic vs Ashington

By Brian Bennett

Talk about making an impact! Ashington’s Jordan Lashley came off the bench to hit an emphatic four goal salvo as the Colliers were forced to come from behind before picking up three merited points against Redcar Athletic at the BM Bi Folding Doors Stadium on Wednesday night.

The win took Ian Skinner’s side up to third top of the Ebac Northern League’s first division table but midway through the first period, they found themselves trailing after being caught on the counter attack with Redcar netting through Owen Clarkson.

Nevertheless, there had been little to enthuse about for the first 65 minutes of this contest – until Ashington manager Ian Skinner made a triple substitution with Lashley, Max Cowburn and Bobby Taylor replacing Ben Sampson, Adam Johnson and Luke Salmon.

Two minutes later, Dean Briggs and sub Max Cowburn combined to set up Lashley who gave ‘keeper Matthew Bateman no chance as he squeezed a left footer from the edge of the area just inside the post.

Going all out for a winner, the Colliers were almost undone and Liam Doyle made an important last ditch tackle to snuff out a promising attack by home sub Isaac Walker.

Then for the final ten minutes, the game centred around the unstoppable Lashley.

Lewis Suddick made a surging run but with only Bateman to beat saw his shot came back off the post. However Lashley was on hand to smash home the rebound to put the Colliers in front.

And with time running out, Doyle and Cowburn linked to play the ball to Lashley who curled a delightful low effort with his left foot inside the far post to complete his hat-trick.

But there was still more to come and in the second minute of time added on, Lashley ran from just inside his own half, beat a defender then drilled the ball home wide of a helpless Bateman.

With virtually the last kick of the match, ‘keeper Adam McHugh was called upon to save from Nicky Martin before the final whistle came which cemented back to back wins for the Colliers.

Ashington – who had lost at home to the Steelmen on the last day of August – called the tune in what was a fast flowing encounter but it was the 12th minute before they threatened the Redcar goal when a whipped low cross by Luke Salmon just eluded Briggs sliding in at the far post.

Briggs fired over following a corner on the right by Suddick then on the half hour, Thomas Kalthoeber threaded the ball through for Salmon who teed himself up but smashed a volley over from the edge of the box.

Within a minute, the Colliers found themselves 1-0 down after Bateman took the resulting goal kick and Clarkson lobbed a right footer which dipped viciously over McHugh and dropped into the net via the crossbar.

Briggs drove wide after receiving a cross field pass from skipper Ben Harmison then Bateman made a stunning save at the foot of the post to deny Adam Johnson.

Early in the second half, Salmon hit the post with a snap shot before on the hour, Bateman made two fine saves to thwart Suddick and Johnson.

Skinner then changed three personnel – and Redcar were simply stunned by a quadruple blast from Lashley.