Same old story as Ashington lose

Ashington's disappointing season continued on Saturday with defeat against Newton Aycliffe at Woodhorn Lane.

Monday, 27th March 2017, 12:28 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 9:17 pm
Ashington FC's Lee McAndrew. Picture by Ian Appleby

And for the umpteenth time this campaign, it was very much a case of the same old story with the same outcome.

Steve Harmison’s side again found themselves a goal behind before drawing level and then had chances to have been ahead by the interval.

Similarly after the break they frittered away other opportunities and were left to reflect on a moment of slackness shortly after the break which proved decisive.

Ryan McGorrigan netted his first goal for the club this term, but it was ex-Marske United striker Jamie Owens who influenced the encounter, scoring a brace for the Durham club.

In the seventh minute, Owens threatened with a run into the area from the right until home skipper Craig Scott intervened by making an excellent block.

McGorrigan had an effort from distance deflected behind before Owens set what had been a pretty mundane affair alight with a sumptuous strike on 27 minutes.

Aycliffe were awarded a free kick 25 yards out on the right and Owens stepped forward to smash the restart with pace, swerve and dip with the ball nestling perfectly inside the upright and leaving home keeper Conor Grant helpless.

Minutes later, Ben Harmison and Lee McAndrew schemed a move down the left before finding Ben Sampson whose right footer was held by keeper James Winter.

In the 36th minute, Andrew Bulford glanced a Paul Antony corner wide, then seconds later McGorrigan opened his account. Harmison found McAndrew down the left who cleverly beat his marker and when he crossed, McGorrigan netted with a firmly placed header inside the post.

However, the game changed either side of half-time. With only three minutes remaining before the interval, Harmison provided a pass for McGorrigan which saw the ex-North Shields winger outstrip his marker but his effort was brilliantly saved with his legs by the advancing Winter.

Then in time added on, Winter finger-tipped a header from Harmison onto the bar from another Antony corner with Scott smashing the rebound against the upright.

There was almost a dramatic start to proceedings after the break when Ben Wood was clean through but Wayne Buchanan made a great tackle to thwart him.

However, in the 48th minute, Aycliffe were awarded a free kick on the left. Stuart Banks, who had replaced Matthew Lovegreen, struck an effort which Grant parried, but the loose ball fell to Owens who rammed home.

Scott was heavily involved in the action as at one end he had an effort blocked in the danger zone then seconds later cleared off the line at the other to deny Wood.

Grant kept out ex-Collier Josh Gray and after Owens had driven inches wide, the same player was foiled by a brave save from the home stopper.

In the final ten minutes Ashington spurned further opportunities. Substitute Dale Pearson latched onto a pass from fellow replacement Jonathan Tiffoney but lobbed wide from 20 yards as Winter advanced, then Pearson had a goal disallowed for offside.

Winter dived to his left to keep out a drive from Antony and on the 90 minutes mark, Buchanan headed over from an Antony cross.

On Saturday Ashington are away to Seaham Red Star, kick-off 3pm.

Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Christensen (Salmon 73), Antony, Scott (Tiffoney 78), Buchanan, Sampson, McGorrigan, Bulford (Pearson 65), B Harmison, McAndrew. Subs not used: R Bell, Downey.

Attendance: 175.