Armstrong nets four as Ashington lose opener
Hebburn Town 5Ashington 1Ashington slipped to a heavy defeat in their opening Ebac Northern League first divisionmatch of the new campaign against Hebburn Town - one of the sides hotly tipped forpromotion - at the Energy Check Sports ground on Saturday.
The 5-1 score line was a bitter pill to swallow for manager Ian Skinner’s revamped side to take but the contest could so easily have been dubbed the ‘Graeme Armstrong Show’ – with the prolific marksman bagging four of the goals.
The Hornets had opportunities to score more but were denied by
Ashington goalkeeper Dan Staples coupled with some near misses.
In a bright start to the game Damien Stevens was denied from the penalty spot early on after a handling offence but Dan Taggart gave the visitors the lead shortly afterwards.
Armstrong then equalised from the penalty spot after Ben Sampson clipped Jack Elliott inside the area and he soon added a second as Hebburn grew into the game.
Worse was to follow for the Colliers. Thomas Kalthoeber appeared to be fouled but no free kick was awarded and when Curtis Coppen made a comment to the referee, the skipper was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes.
With the clock ticking down and Ashington down to ten men, Armstroing added a third just before half-time to complete his hat-trick with a blistering drive.
Early in the second half, Dibb-Fuller was foiled by Staples then Elliott and Armstrong fizzed efforts inches wide. However, the fourth duly arrived on the hour with Armstrong’s shot appearing to take a deflection before the ball found the far corner.
Ashington continued to create chances with Taggart twice thwarted by Jennison and substitute Kyle Downey having an effort cleared off the line by Robbie Spence.
Ex-Ashington defender Louis Storey then went close and substitute Olly Martin’s shot was repelled by Staples before Hebburn went nap in the 89th minute with Sullivan losing his marker at the near post to nod in a corner by Lewis Suddick.