Colliers sunk by one goal in disappointing performance

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ASHINGTON were ousted out of the top six of the Ebac Northern League’s first division after a classic strike from Lewis Wood ensured Guisborough took all three points from their game on Saturday.

Overall, the Colliers can have few grumbles about the defeat on Teesside.

They edged the first period but after the interval it was the Priorymen who emerged as the better side with Gary Middleton’s men struggling to ask any questions of opponents who as result fo their win leapfrogged over them in the table.

Consequently, the King George V ground continues to be a bogey spot for the Wansbeck outfit, with two defeats and two draws in their last four visits.

Matty Grieve – who slotted straight back into the centre of defence following his short spell at Darlington 1883 and subsequent transfer back to Ashington – was outstanding on his return but could do little to effect the crucial 53rd minute strike from Wood.

Guisborough broke down the left and the cross which ensued was headed out, but the ball fell straight at the feet of Wood and the midfielder took a touch then unleashed a terrific right foot shot from 22 yards which flew past the hands of outstretched keeper Karl Dryden and into the roof of the net.

Minutes later it could so easily have been two.

The goalscorer played the ball down the right flank and when Nathan Evans crossed low into the area, Austin Johnston’s goal bound drive was blocked.

Ashington just could not find any fluency in their play, and indeed the only chance they had in the second period came midway through – an even then it was an audacious chip from 20 yards from Marc Walton which drifted over the bar.

After that as the Colliers chased the game, the Priorymen had further opportunities to put the contest to bed, and Dryden had to be at his supreme best with a triple save in the 71st minute to thwart Evans before substitute Liam McPhillips fired well wide.

There had been little to choose between the sides in the opening half but the Colliers definitely had more territorial advantage.

Andrew Johnson’s effort from a tight angle struck the post after a move involving Taylor and Chris Bell – the latter making his full debut – then Taylor burst through with his shot deflected for a corner.

Grieve’s dominance in the visiting rearguard was evident in the opening quarter hour as he made three magnificent and decisive challenges with the Guisborugh forwards approaching the penalty area.

In the 20th minute, Callum Little, Johnson and Walton combined to set up an opening for Little whose fierce shot was pushed away by keeper Daniel Dixon.

Then a great ball by skipper Craig Scott found Walton but he failed to apply a decent connection and his attempted chip over the keeper from the edge of the area rolled to Dixon.

Still the Colliers looked to unlock the door. Taylor played a one-two with Walton but the defender’s effort deflected off a home defender and looped into the air for Dixon to pouch.

Then Little and Louis Storey engineered a move which ended with Walton driving wide with a shot on the turn.

In the second period, the laborious visitors failed to make any sort of impact, and consequently returned home empty handed.

Ashington: Dryden, Storey, Scott, Antony, Grieve, Taylor, Little (Bainbridge 60 mins), O’Dea (Benjamin 81 mins), Walton, Johnson, C Bell. Subs not used: Egen, Williams.

On Saturday Ashington are at home to Newton Aycliffe then travel to face FA Carlsberg Vase holders Dunston UTS at Federation Park on Tuesday, October 9.