Ashington almost mathematically safe from relegation

Three victories inside the last 11 days has surely dispelled any lingering thoughts of relegation for Ashington.

Although not mathematically safe, it would now take a monumental effort from teams below them and at the same time see the Colliers’ current form plummet alarmingly to drag a resurgent Woodhorn Lane side back in the mix.

Saturday’s latest and deserved result saw the Wansbeck side achieve only their third win in over a decade at Penrith, but the performance bore all the hallmarks of a team in upbeat mode.

Supporters who were not at Frenchfield Park and who observed sketchy details will quickly focus on how the home side ended with nine men after red cards for William Paul and Martyn Coleman.

But the double dismissal came shortly after the Colliers had effectively sewn the game up.

Ironically, the blues had started looking the brighter side but Ashington had the perfect riposte to put the Cumbrians on their heels by taking the lead in the 11th minute.

A simple cross from the left touchline by Kyle Oliver saw the razor sharp Dylan Williamson react inside the area to side-foot wide of keeper Joshua Richardson from six yards.

Ashington, forced into a late change with 17-year-old Lewis Robson coming in for his full debut after James Loughborough pulled up in the warm-up, were growing into the contest and in the 20th minute a ball threaded through the eye of a needle by skipper Andrew Johnson found Williamson but he was blocked out inside the box.

Glen Taylor, Tony Stephenson and Johnson then combined with Richardson holding onto Johnson’s effort before an in-swinging corner on the right by Kyle Downey was cleared off the line by Jordan Little.

Ten minutes from the break, Stephenson hounded a defender into making an error but after taking the ball into the box, the forward blazed over.

At the start of the second period, another opening fell to Stephenson but his timid shot was easily dealt with by Richardson.

A volley from Elliott Jake flashed wide, then at the other end an Oliver corner saw James Harmison’s effort scooped off the line.

Johnson was not far away with a 20 yarder, then midway through the half Grant Davidson had an opportunity for the home side but placed his header from a Coleman cross.

Ashington were enjoying the better possession and in the 80th minute, seven minutes after being introduced, substitute Anth Watson added a second.

Oliver again was the provider of a pass into the middle and after a lay-off by Williamson, the way became clear for Watson whose right footer from just inside the area sent Richardson the wrong way.

Before the restart, Paul and Coleman were both sent off for dissent, and then three minutes from time, Glen Taylor latched onto a searching through pass from Christensen to lob perfectly over Richardson from 12 yards.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Oliver, Downey, Harmison, Buchanan, Williamson, Robson (Watson 73), Stephenson (Webb 87), Taylor, Johnson. Subs not used: Loughborough, Barnard.

On Saturday Ashington entertain Celtic Nation. Kick-off 3pm.