Three goals in 15 minutes secures win for Ashington

Ashington's Tony Stephenson got on the scoresheet despite the efforts of the Crook defender on the line. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Ashington's Tony Stephenson got on the scoresheet despite the efforts of the Crook defender on the line. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Ashington extended their unbeaten home run under new management with three quick goals inside a 15-minute first half period against Crook Town.

Andrew Johnson (2) and Tony Stephenson put them in the driving seat to go on and wrap up all the points at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

The Black & Ambers, already relegated, put up a spirited performance in the second half before conceding a fourth, a quality strike from Glen Taylor, in the final minute.

It was Taylor who could so easily have fired his side in front after a mere 47 seconds when he was through but dragged a right footed effort wide of the post.

In the tenth minute, Taylor laid off a ball played into him from Brad Brooking to Dylan Armstrong but the youngster saw his shot blocked by Crook keeper Ryan Graham.

The Colliers finally broke the deadlock in the 18th minute. Armstrong slipped a pass through for Johnson who finished well.

Six minutes later the lead was doubled. Armstrong found Stephenson who laid the ball off for Johnson to steer in.

Shortly afterwards, another slick move saw Stephenson engineer a move which involved Taylor and Johnson and when the latter crossed, Stephenson directed a flying header over the bar.

But in the 32nd minute, Stephenson latched onto a through ball from Armstrong to round Graham and slot home the third.

Five minutes from the break, Graham denied Johnson his hat-trick. The home skipper met a deep cross from Taylor to volley goalwards but the keeper saved with his legs.

With the half ready to enter stoppage time, the visitors reduced the leeway when skipper David Webster’s free kick from fully 30 yards took a deflection and crept inside the corner.

During the break, Crook boss Peter Mulcaster withdrew Ozioma Davidson and Adam Emson, introducing Adrian Webster and Peter Brown, and ten seconds after the restart Brown had a clear opening but skied his effort over the bar.

Crook came again and in the 49th minute David Webster was denied by the woodwork.

Stephenson then produced a surging run which took him past three defenders and when he pulled the ball back, Johnson’s shot was deflected wide.

Substitute James Loughborough got on the end of a cross by Johnson but he too was denied in similar fashion.

On the hour Joe Moscrop entered the fray, but within 40 seconds he fell awkwardly and was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital with a shoulder injury.

In the final minute of the 90, Armstrong was again the provider of a pass to Taylor who mesmerised a defender with step overs before he powered a right footer wide of Graham and just inside the far post.

Ashington: Grant, Brooking, Christensen, Dunn, Harmison, Buchanan, Stephenson (Moscrop 59) (McGlen 63), Robson (Loughborough 54), Armstrong, Taylor, Johnson. Subs not used: Williamson, Davison.

Attendance: 285.

On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Newton Aycliffe (3pm).