Harmison’s XI get the win but occasion the winner in Les Alderson memorial game

Winning captain Stephen Harmison with the Memorial Cup alongside Ian Lavery MP and members of the Alderson family. Picture by Ian Appleby
Winning captain Stephen Harmison with the Memorial Cup alongside Ian Lavery MP and members of the Alderson family. Picture by Ian Appleby
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The script could not have been written any better on Sunday as Ashington remembered Les Alderson – one of the club’s greatest ambassadors – in a memorial game at Woodhorn Lane.

In what was a poignant moment, Les Alderson junior scored with the last kick of the game in a 6-3 result as stars of yesteryear came out in force to show their respect to a loyal servant who passed away at the beginning of June.

In a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable contest, which was watched by a crowd of 650 with proceeds being donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, it was Stephen Harmison’s Ashington XI who ran out victors against a Bedlington Terriers (1999) XI.

Goal machine Alan Hogg had hoped to bulge the net again – and it took the striker a mere three minutes before he did just that as he picked the ball up ten yards inside the Bedlington half, advanced then curled over Jonathan Egen.

Paul Dunn added a second with a cool finish before Tony Burgess pulled one back when he headed home a corner from the right by Richie Bond.

Ross Atkinson hit the bar with a 30 yarder for Ashington before Hogg added his second on the half hour, which moved the Colliers into a 3-1 lead.

Two minutes later, Dean Gibb pulled it back to 3-2 after Gary Middleton’s shot had struck the woodwork, and Gibb thought he had levelled with an overhead kick until it was ruled out for offside by Premiership referee Mark Clattenburg.

Two goals from Andrew Purvis made it 5-2 and after Gibb had turned in his second on the hour, the last action saw Alderson finish with aplomb, striking a right footer wide of Egen after being clear on goal.

Ben and Sam Alderson, grandsons of the late Les Alderson, had kicked the game off, and afterwards his granddaughters Rebeca and Emily, along with Les’s wife Margaret, presented the trophy to Ashington captain Stephen Harmison.

Stephen Harmison’s Ashington XI: Walker, Anderson, Dunn, Herron, J Harmison, S Harmison, Atkinson, Young, Hogg, Blandford, Bibby, Nixon, Irving, Beharall, Atwell, Carr, Irwin, Robson, Priest, Purvis, Douglas, Alderson.

Bedlington Terriers 1999 XI: Egen, Sokoluk, M Harmison, Bond, Burgess, Teasdale, Boon, Middleton, Gibb, Ludlow, Pearson, Cross, Cockburn.