Goals continue to flow as Ashington hit five at Hebburn

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FREE scoring Ashington took their tally to 13 in two matches when they went nap against Hebburn on Tuesday night.

However, with the visit of league leaders Darlington to Woodhorn Lane on Saturday, whilst manager Gary Middleton will be delighted as his side chalked up another victory and hit five, he will be less enthusiastic about how they conceded three goals.

Twice in the contest the Wansbeck outfit led by two clear goals – at 2-0 and 4-2 – but after adding a fifth, they allowed the hosts to come straight back into the contest from the penalty spot.

But there is no stopping Ashington’s leading marksmen Marc Walton and Andrew Johnson at present.

The duo were once again on target, taking their individual hauls for the season to 30 and 26 goals respectively, whilst Glen Taylor weighed in with his ninth strike since joining the club from Spennymoor.

Yet Hebburn could have gone ahead early in the contest as a corner from James Luccock struck the post.

Then the same player delivered an inviting ball from the right which went across the face of the goal.

Ashington’s first threat came when Jonny Godsmark cut the ball back to Walton but the forward dragged his shot wide.

However, after keeper Karl Dryden had held an effort by Stuart Nicholson at the foot of the post, the Colliers took the lead in the 13th minute through Johnson.

Glen Taylor found Godsmark and when he whipped the ball into the middle, Johnson directed a header from eight yards which keeper Dan Regan got a hand too but could not prevent from crossing the line with assistant referee flagging to award the score.

Mark O’Dea fired straight at Regan and after a neat turn by Glen Taylor, his shot was blocked by the stopper.

In the 25th minute, a 35 yarder by Lee Harrison took a deflection with Dryden forced to dive to his left to parry the ball away.

Then on the half hour Ashington doubled their advantage – through the trusty boot of Walton.

Awarded a free kick 30 yards out, Walton let fly with a powerful right footer which found the net via the post.

Walton was denied another before ex-Collier Paul Gardiner reduced the arrears.

James Taylor had made a terrific block tackle to halt Tony Stephenson but four minutes before the break, Harrison slotted the ball through for Gardiner who netted with a shot on the turn.

Ten minutes into the second half, Matty Grieve played the ball forward to Godsmark and when he pulled it back, Glen Taylor’s first time effort smacked against the post.

Stephenson was blocked by Dryden before on the hour Hebburn levelled.

Paul Antony lost possession in the middle of the park and after raiding down the right, Luccock crossed for Gardiner who tucked a low drive inside Dryden’s left hand post.

But within three minutes the Colliers were back in front at 3-2.

From a Johnson corner, Walton’s effort was blocked but the rebound fell to O’Dea who fired home through a ruck of players.

On 72 minutes it was 4-2.

A good move involving Godsmark, James Taylor and Glen Taylor led to Walton’s shot going behind for a corner, and from Johnson’s right sided delivery, Glen Taylor bulleted home a header from eight yards.

Five minutes later Walton got his second and Ashington’s fifth.

James Taylor supplied a pass which saw the striker reach the ball a split second before the advanced Regan and his delicate chip found the net from 18 yards.

But two minutes later, a harsh penalty award for handball against Grieve saw Stuart Nicholson score from the spot, sending Dryden the wrong way.

Ashington: Dryden, J Taylor, Dobby, Antony, Grieve, Scott, Godsmark (Bainbridge 78 mins), O’Dea, Walton, G Taylor, Johnson. Subs not used: Moscrop, Heaman, Slaughter.

Ashington’s Gareth Bainbridge came on as a 78th minute substitute, the striker returning to the action for the first time since dislocating his shoulder against Billingham Town at the end of January.