JONNY Godsmark produced the one piece of sheer class which ultimately decided the outcome of Ashington CFC’s STL Northern League win over Ryton on Friday night.
Ashington had agreed to a request from Ryton to pull the game forward with Dunston and Whitley Bay meeting in their quarter-final of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
But the move was a huge disappointment as the encounter quickly deteriorated into what must surely be the biggest damp squib of the season.
The Colliers had put Ryton to the sword in the corresponding fixture in mid December by hitting eight without reply against the league’s basement outfit, but there was never any evidence that a repeat would be on the cards.
Godsmark’s industry and craft has been sorely missed as he served a three-match suspension following his sending off at Long Buckby in the FA Carlsberg Vase defeat.
On his return, Godsmark set up Ashington’s opening goal in a 2-1 win over Esh Winning in midweek before being the matchwinner on Friday.
Andrew Johnson and Phill Bell were involved in the move before Godsmark got possession, cut inside and curled a delightful right footed effort from 20 yards which left home keeper Alexander Curran rooted to the spot.
The strike came after 20 minutes, but the game from the off had been unspectacular with only a shot from Bell and a header from Chris Scott, which was clutched by Curran, noteworthy.
Indeed the move of the half – and probably the entire 90 minutes – came on the half hour.
Atkin’s long ball out of defence picked out Godsmark on the right and after finding Johnson, his cross was headed over by Bell, but any score would have been ruled out for offside.
For Ryton, James Anderson slotted the ball through for Liam Hudson who sliced wide before Ashington had two marvellous opportunities to stretch their lead.
In the 34th minute, Darren Lough delivered a cross on the run but Stephen Young misguided his header wide.
Then a lay off from Godsmark saw Young through, but on this occasion his first shot was saved by Curran and he blazed over from the rebound.
Ryton’s ex Ashington manager Peter Craggs saw his side give plenty of energy and for a team who have won only one game this season, they belied their position but in an uneventful second period, the highlights were condensed to a few sporadic incidents.
On 55 minutes, Young dragged a good chance wide after being set up by Godsmark then Bell and Young were both denied by Curran.
The home stopper did well to smother from Godsmark after a run by Lough and the final opportunities saw substitute Damen Mullen head wide before the same player turned provider from which Bell’s first time effort was held by Curran.
Ashington: Dryden, Rees, Lough, Shaw, Atkin, Harmison, Godsmark, Scott, Young (O’Dea 60 minutes), Bell, Johnson (Mullen 60 minutes). Subs not used: Wightman, Dunn, Taylor.
The Colliers now face two home games in the space of four days.
On Saturday, Jarrow Roofing arrive at Woodhorn Lane for a 3pm kick-off, then Billingham Synthonia are the visitors on Tuesday, March 15, 7.30pm kick-off.
In midweek, a goal by Stephen Young quarter of an hour from time cemented a 2-1 victory for Ashington over Esh Winning at a bitterly cold Waterhouses ground.
Chris Scott had earlier given the visitors the lead on the half hour after unselfish play from Jonny Godsmark, but Esh deservedly equalised six minutes from the break through Ian Ward.