Ashington take early season bragging rights over Bedlington Terriers

Scorer of Ashington's third goal, defender Matty Grieve, challenges for the ball in his side's 4-0 win over Bedlington Terriers. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Scorer of Ashington's third goal, defender Matty Grieve, challenges for the ball in his side's 4-0 win over Bedlington Terriers. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
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Andrew Johnson provided the spark for Ashington which lit up an otherwise ordinary derby clash against neighbours Bedlington at Woodhorn Lane on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Colliers skipper was on fire as he notched a brace, struck the woodwork and claimed the assist for the third goal by Matty Grieve which effectively wrapped the result up by half-time.

Johnson was at the heart of all the action, being heavily involved and clearly influential, and the Terriers just could not handle him.

Both sides went into the game on the back of defeats on Saturday, and it was the visitors who posed the first threat in the fourth minute until Grieve made a superb tackle to stop Liam Hudson in his tracks.

Johnson then took centre stage to run the show and he broke the deadlock in the 12th minute following a right wing corner by Kyle Downey which was not cleared. The ball fell to the home captain who cut inside and wrapped his foot around a stunning right footer from 22 yards which screamed past keeper Fabian Otte before nestling inside the back of the net.

Johnson rifled over before he doubled his side’s advantage in the 27th minute with an almost carbon copy strike.

Allowed to advance unchallenged towards the visitors back four, he moved to his right then unleashed another crisp drive from 25 yards which left Otte helpless.

Five minutes later, the Terriers were left rocking when a rampant Colliers added a third through Grieve.

Who else but Johnson whipped over a dangerous ball into the area from a free kick on the right and Grieve, allowed a free run and header, glanced wide of Otte and inside the far post from six yards.

Indeed the picture could have been far worse for the Terriers as in the final ten minutes of the period, Chris Moore supplied the cross from which Johnson steadied himself to curl an effort from 16 yards which thudded against the base of the post, then Otte tipped around a low drive from the Ashington midfielder.

On the hour, Bedlington threatened when player-manager Andy Ferrell produced a clever weaving run to set up Hudson who was clear but his shot was blocked by home stopper Conor Grant.

New Ashington signing Josh Gray, who had replaced the injured Scott Blandford midway through the first period, lifted the ball over then substitute Joe Race laid the ball on a plate for Downey who side footed the ball the wrong side of the post.

Bedlington grew in confidence as the Colliers frittered away chances, and after a good passage of play, Kallum McGlen pulled the ball back only for sub Andrew McBride to lash over.

But in the second minute of stoppage time, a darting run down the right from Moore saw him pull the ball across the box for Race who stabbed the ball inside the far post for Ashington’s fourth.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Weldon, Downey, Harmison, Grieve, Moore, Blandford (Gray 22), Williamson (Quinn 75), Kanda (Race 64), Johnson. Subs not used: Atkin, Bell.

Bedlington Terriers: Otte, Dummett (McBride 54), Nellis (Buzzeo 44), Berry (Laviers 60), Pendlebury, Stoneman, K McGlen, S Walton, Hudson, Briggs, Ferrell. Subs not used: Gourley, Nairn.

Attendance: 351.