TWO goals of outstanding quality by midfielder Brad Inman booked Newcastle United Reserves a place in the semi-finals of this season’s Sage Northumberland Senior Cup at a bitterly cold Whitley Park ground on Tuesday night.
After a goal-less first half the Magpies – current holders of the competition – started the second period with all guns blazing and after Colliers keeper Karl Dryden had saved superbly from Daniel Taylor, the stopper had no chance in the 58th minute when the home side went ahead.
Ashington failed to clear a corner and Inman, lurking on the edge of the area, unleashed a powerful low drive with his right foot which flew into the corner of the net.
With quarter of an hour remaining, it was Inman who settled the tie with another sumptuous strike from a similar distance.
Again he let fly with his right foot and the ball rocketed into the top corner giving Dryden no chance.
Gary Middleton’s side had enjoyed a lot of possession in the first period and only the brilliance of home keeper Alex Baird and the woodwork prevented them from going ahead on the stroke of half-time.
Phill Bell met a cross from Paul Buzzeo and directed a goalbound header which Baird dived full stretch to his left to fingertip onto the top of the crossbar with the ball going over.
Ten minutes earlier, Taylor had missed the best opening of the half when he was through one-on-one with only Dryden to beat but was thwarted by the keeper.
Dryden then pulled off a string of excellent saves in the second period, including a couple from Ryan McCorrigan but at the other end, a header from Bell brought a great stop out of Baird.
However, the Colliers certainly gave a good account of themselves on the night and should take heart from their performance, despite the reverse as they now prepare to go into Saturday’s FA Carlsberg Vase clash against Spennymoor at the Brewery Field.
The two sides observed a minute’s silence before the tie in memory of Wales manager and former Newcastle United player Gary Speed, who died at the weekend.
Newcastle United Reserves: Baird, Nicholson, Toland, Inman, Streete, Kadar, McCorrigan, Richardson, D Taylor, Vuckic, Edmundsson. Subs not used: Riley, Mitchell, Sayer, Hooper, Campbell.
Ashington: Dryden, Buzzeo, Scott, J Taylor, Atkin, Rees (Grieve 84 mins), Johnson, O’Dea (Dugdale 80 mins), Bell, Godsmark, Mullen (Bainbridge 80 mins). Subs not used: Morris, Hogg.