Ashington share spoils with Dunston UTS
Ashington and Dunston UTS shared the spoils after a drab and uninspiring contest at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.
The Colliers went into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory over Billingham Synthonia in the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup in midweek where Kyle Downey and Craig Scott were on target - whilst opponents Dunston had suffered a 6-0 home defeat at the hands of Seaham Red Star only days earlier.
The first half contained a mere four incidents. In the eighth minute a free-kick from distance by Oliver Leedham was deflected wide then after a raid down the left and cross by Jak Ashton, another effort from Leedham was tipped over by home ‘keeper Conor Grant.
Five minutes later – on the half hour – the visitors took the lead.
James Luccock cut inside to fire in a shot which was turned around by Grant but from the resulting corner,
Scott Heslop hooked home from almost on the goal-line.
Ashington starved their supporters of any goalmouth action until three minutes from the break.
New signing Ben Richardson whipped in a free-kick to the near post where Ben Harmison’s glancing header was palmed away by ‘keeper Mark Cook.
There was an explosive start to proceedings after the interval as with only 15 seconds gone, Luccock burst clear down the right but saw his low drive blocked by Grant.
Ashington were showing more urgency and after receiving from Harmison, Lee McAndrew played a low dangerous ball across the box which only required a touch.
However in the 51st minute, the home side got back on terms. Skipper Craig Scott was the supplier of an intelligent pass down the left for Luke Salmon who burst into the area until he went to ground under challenge from Leedham.
Referee Helen Conley awarded a penalty and Kyle Downey stepped forward to bury an effort wide of Cook even though the stopper guessed the right way.
Three minutes later, Ashington thought they had edged ahead through Ben Harmison.
Cook appeared to spill the ball from a corner from Downey with Harmison stabbing home but the referee disallowed the effort.
Then following another flag kick by Downey, McAndrew found Paul Antony whose right footer from 20 yards was finger tipped around the post by Cook, diving to his left.
As Ashington continued to mount pressure, Scott directed a header wide then Cook fielded an effort from McAndrew before Ben Harmison had a left footer deflected for a corner.
At the other end, substitute Ryan Drane who had only been on the field two minutes, received a pass from Heslop but saw his drive parried away to safety by Grant.
On Saturday Ashington are away to Newton Aycliffe (3pm) then the Colliers host Blyth Town on Tuesday (October 25) in the first round of the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup (7.30pm).
Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Salmon, Antony, Scott, Buchanan, Sampson (Dunn 88 minutes), Downey, Richardson (Dormand 76 minutes), B Harmison, McAndrew (Gunn 82 minutes). Subs not used: J Harmison, Bell.
Referee: Helen Conley