Walton comes off the bench to out Ashington through in FA Cup

Substitute Marc Walton scores Ashington's equaliser minutes after coming on in the 2-1 FA Cup win over Albion Sports. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Substitute Marc Walton scores Ashington's equaliser minutes after coming on in the 2-1 FA Cup win over Albion Sports. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Two opportunist goals from substitute Marc Walton fired Ashington into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The Colliers beat Albion Sports at Throstle Nest on Sunday.

The visited had trailed to a goal on the stroke of half-time from Danny Facey before Walton wrote his own script as he made a sensational impact after being introduced on the hour.

The Ashington management received a blow less than an hour before kick-off when leading goal scorer and skipper Andrew Johnson failed a late test on a foot injury.

However, the visitors had the first real chance in the seventh minute when Kyle Downey fed Glen Taylor down the left but after beating his marker, Taylor’s cross was intercepted for a corner.

A 25-yard drive by Ferdinard Annur had keeper Chris Bannon scampering across his goal before it went behind, then in their next raid upfield, Glen Taylor set up Lance McGlen who struck a right footer on the run which whistled only yards wide.

Karl Hall fired a snap shot wide then a header from the same player was cleared away from the danger zone.

Home stopper Aaron Brian fisted out a stinging effort from Glen Taylor, then after Bannon had tipped away to deny Hall, a great move involving Downey, Glen Taylor and Oliver ended with McGlen volleying wide.

However right on the stroke of half-time Ashington were left reeling as the home side went in front.

Matthew Morgan found Lee Elam and the influential winger crossed to the far post where the tall Karl Hall headed down for Facey who swept in from six yards.

But the old cliché ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’ rang true after Colliers manager Gary Middleton introduced Walton for Kyle Oliver.

The sub had barely been on the field 60 seconds when he found the net for the equaliser after a slick five-man move.

Bannon rolled the ball out to James Taylor who found James Novak on the left and the full back delivered a superb diagonal pass which was played first time by McGlen towards Walton who turned then planted a downward volley wide of Brian from 14 yards.

Bannon made a crucial save with his legs to deny Danny Facey before Walton struck again in the 63rd minute with an amazing second.

McGlen was again the provider and Walton, spotting Brian off his line, executed an exquisite lob from 30 yards which nestled inside the far post.

Bannon yet again foiled Hall – then sub Kieran Egen found Shaun Gibson whose shot flew wide of Brian’s post.

There was an ugly flash point ten minutes from time when the home side were reduced to ten men after Matthew Mathers was sent off.

Referee Richard Wild blew for a foul by Christensen on Mathers, who promptly followed the full back up the touchline before scything him down.

The Rochdale-based official called Mathers over before brandishing the red card.

In time added on, Novak fed Walton who played the ball across to Egen whose low right foot drive was deflected just wide of the upright.

Then after Bannon had held onto a shot from Elam, the full-time whistle sparked joyous celebrations amongst the travelling contingent of supporters.

Ashington will be at home on Saturday, September 13, to the winners of the North Shields v Scarborough Athletic tie which ended in a 1-1 draw on Sunday and is due to be replayed on Wednesday (September 3).

Ashington: Bannon, Christensen, Novak, Slaughter, Flynn, J Taylor, McGlen (Egen 67), Elliott (Gibson 52), Oliver (Walton 59), G Taylor, Downey. Subs not used: Johnson, Barnard.

Attendance: 127.

On Saturday the Colliers will be locked in a local derby showdown at home to Morpeth Town (3pm) before Gary Middleton’s side meet Billingham Synthonia at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday, September 9.