Downey and Scott strikes see Ashington beat Synners in League Cup

Ashington defender Craig Scott. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington defender Craig Scott. Picture by Ian Appleby
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Second half goals from Kyle Downey and skipper Craig Scott cemented Ashington’s place in the next round of the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup.

The Colliers advanced thanks to narrow 2-1 victory over Billingham Synthonia at the CLS Sports Stadium on Wednesday night.

But they were forced to come from behind as Danny Brunskill put the hosts in front, and after Downey had levelled from the penalty spot, Scott, making his first full start of the campaign, netted a stunning winner 15 minutes from time.

It could have been a totally different story as the Wansbeck outfit came flying out of the traps.

In the third minute, Downey’s left footed free kick from all of 35 yards smacked against the bar with keeper Jack McLaren stranded, then Ben Harmison slotted the ball through for Lee McAndrew whose goalbound effort was pushed away by the home stopper.

However, in the ninth minute, Synners edged ahead. A free kick from the right by Max Craggs went across the danger zone for Brunskill who fired into the far corner.

Apart from another set-piece by Downey from 30 yards which was just wide, there was little to enthuse about for the remainder of the half.

Ashington were brighter after the break and after a move involving substitute Ben Christensen, Ben Sampson and Scott Gunn, Downey was just off target from the edge of the box.

However, in the 55th minute, the Colliers drew level. Following a positive run by McAndrew, the winger played the ball through for the on-rushing Luke Salmon who was upended inside the area. Referee Adam Williamson pointed to the spot and Downey stepped forward to coolly stroke the ball into the back of the net.

Sam Garvie went close for the home side then on the hour Gunn got on the end of a Paul Antony free kick to set up Downey who dragged his shot narrowly wide.

Again there was little in the way of goalmouth action until Scott popped up to hit the winner in the 73rd minute.

McAndrew swung over a corner from the left and when Sampson returned the ball into the middle, Scott with his back to goal, swivelled before hooking a left footed half volley from eight yards wide of McLaren and inside the far upright.

In the final stages, Conor Grant saved from Anthony Peacock, which led to Synners having a succession of corners, but Ashington snuffed out the danger and will now have home advantage when they meet Ryhope CW in the second round.

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

Ashington: Grant, Henderson (Christensen 44), Salmon, Antony, Scott, Buchanan, Sampson, Downey, Gunn (Dormand 66), B Harmison, McAndrew. Subs not used: J Harmison, Dunn, Glasper.