Ashington now six unbeaten in league after Ben Harmison double

Ashington FC's Ben Harmison. Picture by Gary Welford
Ashington FC's Ben Harmison. Picture by Gary Welford

Bishop Auckland were on the receiving end of a double six for Ashington at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

Victory for the Colliers stretched their unbeaten league run to six matches whilst Ben Harmison netted his sixth goal in the last five games with a superb double.

And recent acquisition Dan O’Reilly was on the score sheet for the first time as Ashington won 3-2, which followed a 2-2 draw with Marske in midweek.

After a cautious opening, both sides created a chance a piece within 60 seconds. Michael Hoganson had a shot fisted out by home keeper Conor Grant then when play switched to the other end, O’Reilly and David Dormand worked a one-two with the latter’s effort being palmed away by Bishops stopper Edward Wilczynski.

Chances were in short supply until Bishops threatened through James Fairley but his pull back was blocked.

Ben Harmison headed wide then a great through ball released Bishops Andrew Johnson until he was halted in his tracks by a brilliant tackle by Wayne Buchanan.

Ashington went in front in the 19th minute. Kyle Downey found Ben Harmison who slipped the ball through for O’Reilly and the winger advanced to the edge of the six-yard box before producing a great left foot finish across Wilczynski from a tight angle.

However, the visitors were level within two minutes. The home defence stopped waiting for an offside flag which never came and Hoganson fired a low drive wide of Grant and inside the far post.

Johnson and Jonathan Wright spurned opportunities but five minutes before the break it was nevertheless the prolific Johnson who eased his side in front.

Andre Bennett’s header from a Fairley cross smacked against the bar with the ball bouncing down for Johnson who hooked home from close range.

Ben Harmison had a header cleared from the danger zone but the Colliers trailed 2-1 at the interval.

Ashington were positive on the resumption. Downey found Dormand down the left but when he slipped the ball across, O’Reilly hit the side netting.

Dormand had a header clutched by Wilczynski from a Paul Antony free kick then Ben Harmison clipped over.

On the hour, Wright pounced on a home error but as he went around the advancing Grant, his touch took him wide and he side-footed wide.

A significant turning point arrived in the 71st minute when Hoganson fired inches wide of Grant’s left hand post, then less than a minute later Ashington were back on terms.

Ben Harmison met a first time cross from the left by Luke Salmon to send a majestic header from eight yards into the net via the underside of the crossbar.

Five minutes later, Harmison was again on target to put his side in front for a second time in the contest.

Ashington were awarded a free kick on the left touchline and when Antony whipped the restart into the area with pace, Harmison glanced a superb header just inside the far corner.

On 85 minutes, Grant gathered the ball at the second attempt from a Johnson shot before referee Rebecca Welch blew for full-time, which saw the home side receive a standing ovation from their supporters as they left the pitch.

On Saturday Ashington are away to Jarrow Roofing, kick-off 3pm.

Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Salmon, Antony, J Harmison, Buchanan, Downey (Christensen 82), S Bell, Dormand (Bulford 68), B Harmison, O’Reilly. Subs not used: Simpson, Glasper.

Attendance: 160.