Sampson strike sees Ashington overcome ten-man West Allotment

Ben Sampson scores the winner for Ashington against West Allotment. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ben Sampson scores the winner for Ashington against West Allotment. Picture by Ian Appleby
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Ashington bounced back from consecutive defeats to beat West Allotment Celtic at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

Ben Sampson’s winner 20 minutes from time was enough for the Colliers to take all three points.

After exiting the FA Vase the previous week with a 2-0 defeat at Easington then going down 5-1 in midweek to Newcastle Benfield, Steve Harmison’s side deserved the win.

However, they did it in fortunate circumstances. The goal came following a corner on the right by Kyle Downey, which the midfielder appeared to have played the ball twice without it being touched by another player and after advancing, he fired in a shot which was blocked.

The rebound fell to Sampson and the 17-year-old coolly side footed home from three yards.

The North Tyneside outfit had been forced to dig deep after playing the final hour with only ten men following the dismissal of Dillon Blake, and although there was little in the way of player reaction after the goal, it left club officials from Allotment incensed.

Meanwhile Sampson, showing maturity far beyond his years, shone like a beacon in the middle of the park and was at the hub of the majority of Ashington’s moves.

In the tenth minute he started an attack which also involved Lee McAndrew and Scott Gunn, but when the latter crossed, Ben Harmison, although showing instinctive reactions, stabbed wide of Chris Bannon’s left hand post.

On 20 minutes a Downey free kick was headed downwards by Ben Harmison but glanced onto the top of the netting by brother James Harmison.

In the 32nd minute the visitors were reduced to ten men as Blake saw red following a challenge on Luke Salmon.

Ben Harmison nodded wide, an effort by Sampson was blocked by West skipper Ian Dunn then Sampson set up Gunn who fired a shot on the run narrowly wide. Ashington showed their intentions right from the start of the second period. Within the first 15 seconds Gunn found Ben Harmison who cut inside but dragged a left footer wide.

A neat move involving Ben Harmison, McAndrew and Gunn ended with Salmon just off target then Sampson slotted the ball through for Gunn whose drive was punched up into the air by Bannon.

The Colliers continued to probe but the quality of their final ball was poor and after another good build up, Sampson’s effort rolled narrowly wide.

Midway through the half, Downey was the provider of an astute pass inside the area but Salmon’s driven ball flashed across the face of goal.

After man of the match Sampson had broken the deadlock, the only other chance of note came five minutes from time when a shot from distance by Allotment’s Dale Pearson drifted wide of Conor Grant’s upright.

On Saturday, Ashington are away to South Shields, kick-off 3pm.

Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Salmon, Antony, J Harmison, Buchanan, Sampson, Downey (Christensen 89), Gunn (Bulford 74), B Harmison, McAndrew. Subs not used: Dormand, Scott, Dunn.