Ashington’s unbeaten run ends at Jarrow Roofing

Ashington travelled to Jarrow Roofing on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten league run to eight games.

They made three changes from the side that won a midweek League Cup tie against Ryhope CW with Paul Antony, James Harmison and David Dormand replacing Kyle Downey, Ben Christenson and Andrew Bulford.

The home side included new signings Lee Kerr and Paul Gardiner in their starting line-up.

Ashington began brightly and almost took the lead on two minutes when a free kick from the left was played into the box by Antony. The ball fell to Ben Sampson who saw his first shot blocked but he reacted to the rebound and his second effort clipped the base of the left hand post before rolling to safety.

A minute later Ashington were behind when from a free kick in the centre of the park Calvin Smith got a free run on goal and he rifled a shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.

The early setback seemed to stun Ashington and the home side enjoyed a spell of pressure.

Kerr shot wide from long range and then Paul Gardiner saw himself through on goal only to shoot high and wide.

Christopher Winn also fired over the bar from a good position when latching onto a long ball over the top.

Ashington started to work their way back into the game and Dan O’Reilly showed an impressive turn of pace to race clear of the home defence, but while his shot from the left flew past the keeper it also just beat the far post.

But on 32 minutes O’Reilly was not to be denied. An inch perfect through ball from David Dormand sent the Ashington forward racing clear and his touch took the ball around the keeper and, although he looked to have taken it too wide, he cut back in to unleash an unstoppable effort into the top left corner of the goal.

Good pressure from O’Reilly saw Jennison make a hurried clearance to the feet of Antony, but the Jarrow keeper managed to recover to pluck a first time effort from just below the bar.

With a minute remaining in the first half, Ashington were denied what looked like a stonewall penalty.

O’Reilly clipped the ball around a Jarrow defender who appeared to use his hand to stop the ball, but despite vociferous appeals from the visitors the referee waved them away.

Ashington were slow out of the blocks in the second half as the home side piled on the pressure.

Gardiner saw an effort saved well by Conor Grant on 47 minutes, but the Ashington keeper was powerless to stop Jarrow taking the lead two minutes later.

Winn caught the visitors’ defence in possession and raced in on goal to coolly slot the ball under Grant to give the home side a 2-1 lead.

Shaun Henderson was unlucky to receive a yellow card on 65 minutes when a slip on the muddy surface caused him to collide with Smith, but the referee decided the incident deserved a booking.

Five minutes later Ashington levelled when a cross from the left by O’Reilly saw substitute Downey, on for the injured Shaun Bell, challenge in the air with Daniel Kirkup. The defender clearly got his head to the ball but his attempted clearance fell to Dormand on the edge of the six-yard area and he made no mistake.

The goal looked to have been ruled out when the assistant raised his flag for offside, but after a lengthy discussion between the officials, the referee she awarded the goal.

But parity was only to last one minute as virtually from the restart Kristopher Hughes broke down the left and his cross-shot curled past Grant and into the top right corner.

With four minutes remaining Ashington had a gilt-edged chance when Ben Harmison headed a right wing cross back across the box and it fell to Dormand close in on goal. The ball got stuck between the Ashington forward’s feet, however, and the Jarrow keeper was able to dive on the ball to smother his effort.

The final whistle sounded with Ashington’s impressive recent run coming to an end in disappointing circumstances.

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

Ashington: Grant, Henderson (Bulford 85), Salmon (Scott 83), Antony, J Harmison, Buchanan, Sampson, Bell (Downey 67), Dormand, B Harmison, O’Reilly.