Ashington put five past Alnwick to open pre-season

Ashington striker Marc Walton was on the scoresheet in the friendly against Alnwick on Friday night. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Ashington striker Marc Walton was on the scoresheet in the friendly against Alnwick on Friday night. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
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Debutants Richard Flynn and Dean Critchlow were both on target as Ashington commenced their pre-season warm-up fixtures with a comfortable victory over Alnwick Town at St James Park on Friday night.

Flynn found the mark as early as the third minute when he headed home an in-swinging corner from James Novak.

And the lead was doubled on the half hour as Marc Walton lashed home the rebound after the home keeper had initially blocked his first effort.

On a lush green surface, the Colliers looked even better after the break and added three goals in a 12-minute period to go nap.

The third came in the 63rd minute when Critchlow was sent sprawling in the area by Ross Straughan. Kyle Oliver’s powerfully struck penalty saw keeper Shaun Straker perform well to deflect the ball onto the bar but from the rebound, Glen Taylor headed home.

Four minutes later a superb through pass from Lee Scott sent Critchlow through who buried a right footer wide of Straker.

Then Critchlow was the provider of a pass which saw an exquisite finish from Oliver.

Manager Gary Middleton was delighted with the work out.

“Pre-season is a process of getting lads fit; casting an eye over some players and looking at various systems,” he said.

“Tonight, on a good surface, I was quite pleased with the way things turned out and how the players performed.

“James Taylor started the way he left off last season and I was really happy with the new lads who did well.

“Richie Slaughter looked a class act whilst we got some minutes into Richard Flynn, which was great because he hasn’t trained every session and he did more than was required.”

Middleton, who introduced his 16-year-old son Ben for an outing during the second period, added: “Things were really positive over the whole 90 minutes and I thought every one of the players looked good at what we asked them to do.

“We have three hard games this week which will take the fitness of the players to a different level.”

Ashington’s programme of friendlies continues with a home clash against Washington on Thursday (July 24) followed by a trip to Seaham Red Star on Saturday, July 26. Gateshead arrive for a 7pm kick-off at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday, July 29, where admission prices will be £4 adults, £2 concessions.