By Brian Bennett
Ashington’s mini run of three successive wins came to an end on Saturday when a header from Seaham striker Adam Lennox quarter of an hour from time resulted in a narrow defeat in their Ebac Northern League first division clash at The Independent Utility Advice Arena.
The teams went into the contest on the back of totally contrasting results in midweek. The Colliers scored three times in the final 15 minutes to win a five goal thriller against Blyth Town in the Techflow Marine Northumberland Senior Cup clash whilst at the same time, Red Star went down 4-0 in their ENL tussle at home to Thornaby.
Inside the opening minute, a long ball into the Ashington penalty area saw miscommunication between Karl Dryden and Yannick Aziakonou. As the ‘keeper came out to punch, the defender got their first and headed narrowly wide of his own goal.
Ashington responded with Damen Mullen finding Dean Briggs who went past ‘keeper Andrew Jennison but dragged his shot into the side netting.
The Wansbeck side had the ball in the net in the sixth minute when Luke Salmon’s cross field pass to Karl Ross saw the number ten cross where Briggs headed in at the far post – but the score was disallowed for offside.
Within sixty seconds, Seaham – who had made the more positive start – ought to have taken the lead when Dryden punched out an effort from Lennox but Danny Sayer headed wide of the far post.
Chances then totally dried up until Salmon played the ball into the box where Danny Anderson’s touch set up Craig Spooner – making his full debut – but he drove wide.
Then in the 37th minute, Briggs slipped the ball wide to Salmon who whipped the ball across the face of the goal.
Two minutes later, the home side edged in front. A perfectly weighted pass down the middle by Lennox unlocked the Ashington defence and put Thomas Lawson through.
The number seven attempted to take the ball around Dryden who got his finger tips to it and deflected it sideways – but Lawson following up, rolled the ball in.
On the hour, Sayer hit the post after a cross from the right before Briggs headed over at the other end.
Ashington then went through a brief spell where they looked vulnerable at the back. Dryden kept out a header by Max Nelson and a couple of minutes later, Sayer had another opportunity until his shot was blocked by Curtis Coppen – who was Ashington’s stand out performer on the day by a distance.
In the 72nd minute, Anderson played a short corner to substitute Paul Robinson who weaved his magic and when he returned the ball to Anderson, the midfielder unleashed an effort from the edge of the area which was goal bound until it was pushed away by Jennison.
However sixty seconds later, a long clearance by Dryden went over the top of the home defence which sent Briggs clear and the Ashington skipper made no mistake, with a low drive wide of Jennison and inside the far corner.
But within three minutes, the home side were back in front when a cross from the left found the unmarked Lennox who gave Dryden no chance as he powered a header into the net from six yards.
Ashington searched for a second equaliser but despite their efforts, came up against a resolute home defence.