Ashington second best as Washington win opener

Jonathyn Quinn scored Ashington's consolation goal near the end of their 3-1 defeat to Washington. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Jonathyn Quinn scored Ashington's consolation goal near the end of their 3-1 defeat to Washington. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Newly-promoted Washington condemned Ashington to an opening day defeat on Saturday in the Ebac Northern League.

And the Colliers could have no complaints after a poor performance.

The match at the Nissan sports complex saw the home side have the upper hand from the start, and after taking an early lead, two quick-fire goals midway through the second period cemented their win.

It was a harsh lesson for Steve Harmison’s side.

They were second best for the majority of the contest, even before Jonathyn Quinn’s excellently executed strike brought a late consolation.

Fielding five newcomers in the starting line-up with another two on the bench, the Wansbeck side were on the back foot from the first whistle.

After three minutes, a cross from the left by Anthony Callaghan clipped the top of the bar, then 57 seconds later skipper Mark Davison met a right sided corner from Michael Coghlan and his downward header hit the same spot on the woodwork.

Shortly afterwards, a through ball from Dylan Williamson presented a chance for Tony Stephenson but he was blocked by a timely intervention from home keeper Jonathan Carmichael.

What a difference a goal would have made then as two minutes later Coghlan struck gold for the Mechanics.

The approach was slick but the finish was top drawer as Coghlan smacked a right footer with the outside of his foot from 25 yards which left Conor Grant helpless as it thudded against the underside of the bar and into the net.

Chris Winn went close then James Cassidy’s pace down the flank resulted in a cross which was cut out in the nick of time by Matty Grieve.

Apart from a Kyle Oliver and Kyle Downey schemed move which saw home keeper Carmichael smother to thwart Chris Moore, it was very much Washington calling the tune.

On the half hour, a cross from the impressive Callaghan was met by Winn but he chested the ball past the post, then the striker curled wide from 18 yards.

Three minutes before the break, Stephenson found Williamson whose shot was blocked by Carmichael, but on reflection, Ashington’s only saving grace was that they were only trailing by a solitary goal at the interval.

Indeed the Colliers started the second period better and inside four minutes Williamson wriggled free on the right but the angle was too tight and his effort rippled the side netting.

Downey produced a great and last ditch tackle in the box to foil Cassidy then at the other end Oliver instigated a move which saw Stephenson and Quinn link well only for the former to be blocked.

Grant again came to the rescue to deny Winn, but in the 66th minute it was Winn who set up Joe Walton who side-footed home past Grant for Washington’s second.

Two minutes later, the contest was effectively over when Davison lashed home on the half volley after a searching through ball from the back.

Grant kept out a header from Winn before Ashington opened their account ten minutes from time from Quinn.

Substitute Michael Bell claimed the assist as he found Quinn and the former Newcastle United man produced a sumptuous finish with his right foot finding the top corner from 18 yards.

Ashington pushed forward but were almost caught on the counter with Grant stopping efforts from Davison and Winn whilst Walton fired wide.

On Saturday Ashington host Albion Sports in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup then travel to face Newton Aycliffe on Tuesday, August 18.

Ashington: Grant, Williams (Atkin 57), Oliver, Downey, Harmison, Grieve, Moore, Blandford, Williamson, Quinn, Stephenson (Bell 63). Subs not used: Robson, Smith, Dunn.