Ashington fall to seventh consecutive defeat as league champions earn narrow win

Ashington striker Ben Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington striker Ben Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby

Ashington extended their painful run of consecutive defeats to seven games on Saturday when a well taken goal 20 minutes from time by Lewis Wing gave defending champions Shildon victory at Woodhorn Lane.

Wing – the best player on the field – latched onto a through pass from Billy Greulich-Smith and calmly rounded advancing home keeper Conor Grant before slotting the ball into the net.

And whilst the Railwaymen remain on track to be in the end of season mix for the championship, the result left the Colliers to ponder on one win from their last 12 games.

Cruelly knocked out of the League Cup by Newcastle Benfield, then on the wrong end of a 5-2 reverse against the same opposition in the league fixture which flattered the Sam Smiths Park outfit, the Wansbeck side gave an encouraging performance in the first period.

Indeed, inside the first two minutes Dale Pearson chased a headed flick on from Ben Harmison but keeper Nicky Liversedge sprinted out of his box to block the striker with Kyle Downey clipping the rebound wide from 40 yards.

Shildon’s first threat came when Daniel Groves found Greulich-Smith down the left and when he crossed into the area, Wayne Buchanan cleared for a corner.

Wing was prominent and on the half hour he was the provider of a through ball which found Anthony Bell but when the midfielder crossed, there was no one on hand to apply the finishing touch.

Chances had been remote and seven minutes before the interval when Downey whipped over a free-kick form the left touchline, Ben Harmison’s header was directed straight at Liversedge.

Grant blocked a 25 yarder by Wing then in the 52nd minute, Ben Sampson tried his luck from distance but his effort cleared the bar.

Midway through the period, Wing had a shot parried by Grant with the rebound falling into the path of Greulich-Smith who lifted the ball over the bar.

Wing was Shildon’s biggest threat and three minutes after he put his side lead, he unleashed another shot from 22 yards which was brilliantly pushed away by Grant.

The visitors’ playmaker then fired an effort which struck the base of the post before the final opportunity fell to Greulich-Smith in the 90th minute but he lashed over.

On Saturday Ashington are at home to Sunderland RCA, kick-off 3pm.

Ashington: Grant, Henderson (McAndrew 80), Salmon, R Bell, Christensen (O’Reilly 80), Buchanan, Sampson (Tiffoney 65), S Bell, Downey, B Harmison, Pearson. Subs not used: J Harmison, Bulford.

Attendance: 188.