Ashington glad to see back of Moors

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TINA Turner’s Simply the Best blared out over the public address after the final whistle on Saturday and none of the 300 crowd could disagree as it described Spennymoor’s performance in their 5-0 win over Ashington CFC.

The Moors head to Poole this weekend bidding to reach the last eight of the FA Carlsberg Vase, but that piece of silverware was put firmly onto the backburner as they turned in a display of outstanding quality.

Ashington, on the other hand, trounced 6-2 by the Moors in the reverse fixture at Woodhorn Lane in late September, will be simply glad that they will not have to face the Durham club again this term.

Jason Ainsley’s side have now given two emphatic displays against the Colliers this season and as a result of this victory, the defending champions went to the top of the league on goal difference from Consett.

That will o’ the wisp striker Gavin Cogden, such a nemesis to Ashington sides over the years, was once again a key figure, scoring the first with other goals coming from Craig Ruddy, Steven Richardson and substitute Adam Johnston.

Visiting keeper Karl Dryden was soon called into action, pushing away an effort by Craig Ruddy, then in the tenth minute, a snapshot by Chris Emms smacked against the base of the upright.

Ashington’s first sniff came quickly afterwards when Chris Scott found Damen Mullen from a free kick, but Mullen’s cross drifted over the bar.

However, on the quarter hour, the Moors went ahead following an opportunist goal from the irrepressible Cogden.

He beat his marker down the left and advanced to the line before slotting the ball in the far corner from an acute angle.

Two minutes later the lead ought to have been doubled after home keeper Craig Turns had collected the ball from an Ashington corner. The stopper cleared downfield to find Richardson but the striker failed to get enough height on his attempted lob and a grateful Dryden gathered.

A cross by Mullen was well taken by Turns then in the 20th minute Mullen slotted through to Scott whose left foot chip flew narrowly over.

Ashington were enjoying a decent spell and it continued as Marc Walmsley set up Scott Blandford, whose 25 yarder was smothered by Turns, who then collected a back header from Phill Bell.

Ashington were rocked in the 27th minute when Spennymoor added a second following a corner on the right.

Capper’s delivery to the far post was knocked back by Leon Ryan for Cogden, whose header hit the bar and bounced down with the assistant referee flagging to indicate that the ball had crossed the line.

Andrew Johnson headed wide from a Scott free kick before Ruddy added a third in the 37th minute.

After approach play on the left, Cogden crossed where Ruddy sent a glancing header wide of Dryden and inside the far post.

Ruddy went close in the second period before being involved in Spennymoor’s fourth, which arrived on the hour.

Stephen Capper crossed from the left, Ruddy guided a pass sideways into the path of Richardson who stroked a volley into the far corner from 12 yards.

Ashington did muster a chance in the 69th minute when Blandford crossed from the right and Johnson laid the ball off for Jonny Godsmark whose effort was taken by Turns.

However, Spennymoor added a fifth in the 77th minute with consummate ease.

A move from the right schemed by Ruddy saw him slip the ball inside the area and substitute Johnston made no mistake slotting past Dryden.

Then four minutes from time, Alex Francis set up substitute Stephen Harrison, whose drive was parried away to safety by the visiting keeper.

Ashington: Dryden, Blandford, Walmsley, Shaw (O’Dea 61 minutes), Atkin, Lough, Johnson, Scott (Young 77 minutes), Godsmark, Bell (Wightman 55 minutes), Mullen. Subs not used: Taylor, Bainbridge.

On Saturday Ashington are at home to Penrith (3pm) before they face Dunston UTS at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday, February 15, (kick-off 7.30pm), the latter clash being the first of two meetings against UTS in five days.

In midweek, Ashington defeated Billingham Town 3-1.

Andrew Johnson stabbed home from a Jonny Godsmark cross to put the Colliers ahead in the 34th minute but after Steven Roberts had hit the post for the visitors, Karl Dryden pulled off a couple of brilliant saves to preserve the lead.

Phill Bell added Ashington’s second but two minutes later gallant Town replied with a glancing header from Roberts.

Godsmark restored the two-goal advantage with ten minutes remaining, latching onto a through ball by Johnson and finishing with aplomb.