Ashington beat league leaders Guisborough to reach League Cup semi-finals

Ashington booked their place in the semi-finals of the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup on Tuesday night with a 1-0 win over Guisborough.

The solitary goal came from Joe Moscrop shortly before half-time.

It was a night where both the players and match officials deserved praise after being forced to play through the 90 minutes in appalling weather conditions.

And the 140 supporters should also be commended for braving the elements too.

A near gale force easterly wind which blew down the ground towards the dressing rooms, coupled with bitterly cold temperatures, made not only for a game of two halves but also a contest where football was at a premium.

And it was the one piece of quality in the whole contest six minutes before the break which resulted in the winning goal, Moscrop’s first in Ashington colours.

Lance McGlen pumped a free kick into the penalty area which found Kyle Oliver on the left and when the midfielder pulled the ball across the face of goal, Moscrop was on hand to ram home from close range.

And the newcomer could and should have added a second with only seconds left before the interval but his angled shot whistle inches over the bar.

In the wake of Saturday’s ‘no-show’ second half and consequent 6-2 defeat at Consett, Colliers manager Steve Harmison had stated that his outfit must show a reaction.

And albeit with the wind at their backs, the players responded in a determined, positive and enthusiastic manner as they pinned the Teessiders – who had gone top of the Ebac Northern League’s first division at the weekend – in their own half.

Within 90 seconds Glen Taylor lashed a right footer over, but as Ashington mounted incessant pressure, it was visiting keeper Nicholas Liversedge who constantly thwarted them.

In the third minute a move involving McGlen, Taylor and Moscrop ended when the latter’s low drive, which was creeping just inside the post, was pushed around by the custodian.

Then minutes later, Liversedge picked the ball out of the back of the net after James Harmison had rifled a low free kick from outside the area into the bottom corner. But the effort was disallowed by referee Rebecca Welch having indicated that she would blow the whistle to restart play and had not done so.

When the kick was retaken, Oliver’s piledriver was superbly touched over by Liversedge.

It appeared to be only a matter of time before Guisborough would crack and after a Taylor flick on, Moscrop whipped an inviting ball across the face of goal with only a touch required.

It was the 12th minute before the Priorymen got out of their own half, such was Ashington’s dominance, but when they pieced together a move of promise involving Luke Bythway and Adam Gell, Harmison made a vital interception in the nick of time.

Liversedge held from Moscrop then after the midfielder had broken the deadlock, an in-swinging corner by Kyle Downey was pushed away by the stopper.

The second half – a non entity for chances – saw Ashington produce a performance full of grit and determination and they defended magnificently.

Ten minutes in, Conor Grant raced from his line to thwart Adam Gell, the pair both receiving treatment after the clash before the Guisborough man was forced to retire.

Then as the visitors threatened 15 minutes from time through Bythway, McGlen moved across to block in superb fashion.

But in the end Ashington held on to book their place in the last four.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Davison, Bone, Harmison, McGlen, Downey, Oliver, Stephenson, G Taylor, Moscrop (Robson 94). Subs not used: Airey, Walton, Hayton.

Attendance: 140.