Disappointing display by Ashington

Ashington 0-3 Dunston UTS

Monday, 9th October 2017, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:15 pm
Ashington FC.

Ashington turned in a disappointing performance against Dunston UTS on Saturday which resulted in a second league defeat of the season at Woodhorn Lane.

In the final analysis, the scoreline flattered the Blues but they nevertheless deservedly took the spoils on what was national non-league day whilst the home side huffed and puffed throughout and never got the grips with the difficult windy conditions.

That could have been the reason why there was a distinct lack of quality on show with the one highlight being the swift construction and consequent finish by Callum Elliott for Dunston’s second goal which arrived ten minutes after half time.

The start of the game was dull and the first real threat came in the 12th minute when Elliott found Kelvin Thear down the left but he was eventually whistled up for a foul on Ben Christensen. Ashington included newly signed Michael Chilton from Morpeth and on the quarter hour, Dale Pearson played the ball through for Chilton but a defender intercepted.

Pearson had a shot blocked then visitors skipper Dale Burrell lashed wide from 25 yards. On the half hour following a cross from the left, Pearson missed his kick when well placed then in the 32nd minute, the visitors took the lead when they were awarded a penalty. Liam Thear was caught by a late challenge from Luke Salmon and Dunston’s hotshot striker Mark Fitzpatrick made no mistake, sending home ‘keeper Conor Grant the wrong way.

However, three minutes later, Chilton had a great opening to mark his debut with an equaliser. He latched onto a clearance from Grant which put him clear with only ‘keeper Aidan Grant to beat but the stopper reacted well to deflect the ball for a corner from which Craig Scott had a header held by Grant.

With half time approaching, Ben Harmison got on the end of a throw in from Salmon and whipped over a great cross which only required a touch then Pearson glanced on for Chilton whose header was held by Grant.

Dunston physio Ian Murray - who had a busy afternoon - was called onto the field within 20 seconds of the second half commencing when skipper Burrell landed awkwardly and was stretchered off where he was taken to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Hospital in Cramlington with a ligament injury. After a lengthy delay, play recommenced with Chilton flicking on a goal kick from Conor Grant but Lee McAndrew struck a right footer wide of the upright.

Dunston took a firm grip on proceedings when Elliott netted their second with a well worked team goal after the visitors broke from an Ashington corner. Liam Thear linked with Steven Anderson - who had only been on the field six minutes – and the substitute rolled the ball invitingly into the path of Elliott who swept a first time effort wide of Grant and inside the far corner.

The game again fell flat until the final quarter hour became feisty. Sub Paul Antony found Ben Harmison from a right wing corner and when he crossed, Callum Johnston blasted over on the half volley. Chilton had a header taken by Grant before referee James Simpson issued a spate of yellow cards following a flare up inside the centre circle. Grant held headers from Buchanan and Johnston then in the third minute of nine added on, Fitzpatrick – already on a yellow – was sent off for a foul on Ben Christensen.

To complete a miserable day for the Colliers, Liam Thear added a third for Dunston’s ten men after advancing into the box and bundling the ball home.

*On Saturday (October 14), Ashington are away to local rivals North Shields (3pm) then the Colliers host Ebac Northern League first division newcomers Stockton Town at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday (October 17).