Ashington advance in Northumberland Senior Cup

Ashington's Ben Harmison. Picture by Gavin Perry
Ashington's Ben Harmison. Picture by Gavin Perry

Ashington rounded off a good four days on Tuesday night as they advanced to the next round of the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup.

After Saturday’s 2-1 win over Easington in the FA Vase, Steve Harmison’s side recorded a 5-3 victory against Newcastle Benfield at Woodhorn Lane.

And what a thrilling cup tie it was with Ben Harmison taking his goals tally to four after notching a superb brace as the Colliers triumphed despite a lengthy injury list.

Harmison was already shorn of 11 players when Dylan Williamson pulled up in the warm-up and was replaced by teenager Lewis Robson.

And the game was only given the go ahead 15 minutes before kick-off by referee Martin Carr after the fog had lifted considerably.

Even so, the plucky home side took the lead in the sixth minute.

Andrew Johnson floated over a corner and Matty Grieve hooked the ball left footed from the edge of the six-yard box across keeper Mark Cook and inside the far post.

Ben Harmison then skied over and Lee Scott had a shot charged down before the visitors drew level in the 19th minute with a crisp finish by Dean Walker.

The ball was played into the Ashington penalty area for Walker who fired wide of Conor Grant from 14 yards.

A flick by the highly impressive Lewis Scorgie went across goal then Johnson made a darting run until Mark Turnbull made a great tackle to stop him.

Five minutes before the interval the Colliers regained the lead following an excellent move down the left.

Johnson found Scott who flicked the ball on and Ben Harmison executed a fine left footed finish into the roof of the net.

Sixty seconds later, Cook denied Ben Harmison after an in-swinging corner from Kyle Downey, but the visitors came out all guns blazing at the start of the second period.

Within 40 seconds, hot-shot striker Paul Brayson had a chance but saw his effort held by Grant, then Chris Hardy’s right footer was tipped away by the home stopper.

However, in the 48th minute and from the resultant corner on the right, former Collier Richie Slaughter swung over an inviting cross to the back post for Scorgie who headed powerfully home.

Four minutes later, Ashington went in front for a third time when Johnson met a corner by Downey to head inside the upright.

Cook then thwarted Ben Harmison and Johnson before on the hour, Ben Harmison won a header which resulted in Carl Paterson slicing the ball into his own net. Ahead 4-2, the game was certainly not over as the visitors came again.

Hardy was just over with an effort from 25 yards then the same player saw his effort cleared off the line by a combination of Paul Weldon and James Harmison.

But in the 69th minute Ashington secured a three-goal cushion when Scott crossed for Ben Harmison who struck a sweet right foot volley past Cook.

As the fog began to roll in once more, Scorgie claimed his second and Benfield’s third in the 86th minute, side-footing home at the far post after a corner before Cook denied Harmison his hat-trick with an astonishing save on full-time.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Weldon, Downey (Williams 70), J Harmison, Grieve, Moore, Scott (Race 89), Robson, B Harmison, Johnson. Subs not used: Dunn, Hall.

Attendance: 137.

The two sides meet again in a league clash at Sam Smiths Park on Wednesday, October 14, but before then Ashington face league leaders Shildon on Saturday, October 10, at Woodhorn Lane, where kick-off is 3pm.