Ashington beaten for a third time this season at North Shields

North Shields' Lee Mason rounding Ashington goalkeeper Conoro Grant in the 3-1 win for the Robins. Picture by Ally Middleton
North Shields' Lee Mason rounding Ashington goalkeeper Conoro Grant in the 3-1 win for the Robins. Picture by Ally Middleton

North Shields claimed a hat-trick on Saturday when they brushed Ashington aside for the third time at the Daren Persson Stadium this season.

The Colliers were dumped out of the FA Vase 3-0 by the back in November, and two months ago they exited the Techflow Northumberland Senior Cup following a 2-1 defeat after extra time.

And it was ironic that on the weekend where the clocks went forward, the home side effectively wrapped the contest up on the hour.

There was little to choose between the two outfits in the opening exchanges, then two goals in quick succession by Graham Fenton’s side changed proceedings.

The deadlock was broken in the seventh minute when Lee Mason burst into the area and although James Taylor appeared to have averted the danger with a sliding tackle, the ball rebounded for the Shields striker who side-stepped advancing keeper Conor Grant and after reaching the byline,pulled it across where Peter Glen-Ravenhill side-footed home from virtually on the goal line.

Minutes later Ashington had their first chance when skipper Andrew Johnson found Ben Christensen, but from his left wing cross Andrew Bulford’s header was off target.

Shortly after the quarter hour, and despite heroics from Grant, the Shieldsmen were celebrating a second which was netted by former Collier Gareth Bainbridge.

Grant brilliantly kept out a power drive from distance by Bainbridge, who was set up by Marc Lancaster, and when the ball was crossed to the far post by Jordan Summerly, Glen-Ravenhill’s header was parried out by the stopper, but only into the path of Bainbridge who made no mistake, prodding home on the half volley.

Ashington were struggling to make an impression against a strong Shields back line, but midway through the period a free kick from 30 yards by James Harmison was fisted down then collected by home keeper Sean McCafferty.

Shields were in total control and they threatened again in the 35th minute when Bainbridge found Mason, but when he pulled the ball back from what was a promising situation, Michael Dixon intervened to clear for a corner.

Six minutes of time was added on at the end of the half following an injury sustained by home full back Lancaster, and during the period, after a shot from Scott was blocked, Bulford fed Damien Stevens who cut inside but fired over.

The Colliers made a double substitution at the interval, withdrawing James Taylor and the injured Andrew Johnson and introducing Kyle Downey and Scott Gunn, but short of the hour mark the visitors were undone by a well worked four-man team goal from the Robins.

It started from McCafferty’s throw out to Glen-Ravenhill, and after he had found Mason, the striker advanced to the byline then put the ball on a plate for Bainbridge who gave Grant no chance with a firm header.

Substitute Ryan McGorrigan missed a great opening to add a fourth, dragging his shot wide, but after Gunn had struck a 30 yarder wide on the half volley, the Colliers reduced the leeway after piecing together a superb move.

James Harmison pumped the ball into the area where sub Ben Harmison chested on for Stevens who drove across McCafferty from the junction of the six-yard box.

Ashington enjoyed a spell of pressure without troubling McCafferty until they had the final chance in the second minute of stoppage time when a right footed effort from Gunn flew narrowly over following a throw-in by Kyle Oliver.

By then however, a third successive defeat this season at the home of the Robins was only seconds away from being confirmed.

North Shields: McCafferty, Donnison, Lancaster (McGorrigan 41), McKeown, Coppen, Hughes, Glen-Ravenhill, Ormston, Bainbridge (Richardson 80), Mason (Wilson 64), Summerly. Subs not used: Parker, Bowman.

Ashington: Grant, Taylor (Downey 46), Christensen, oliver, J Harmison, Grieve, Stevens, Dixon, Bulford, Scott (B Harmison 60), Johnson (Gunn 46). Sub not used: Hall.

Attendance: 330.

On Saturday Ashington are away to Consett. The Colliers are then at home to North Shields on Tuesday, April 5, before travelling to face Marske on Teesside on Thursday, April 7.

In midweek, Steve Harmison’s side made history after hammering a weakened Newton Aycliffe side 10-1.

The result saw the Colliers record their biggest margin of victory at Woodhorn Lane since defeating Pontefract Collieries 9-0 in an FA Cup tie in season 2013-14.

Andrew Johnson led the rout, scoring four goals, with Lee Scott (2), including a penalty, Damien Stevens (2), Andrew Bulford and Matty Grieve also on target.

Kieran Watson replied for Aycliffe, who won the Durham Challenge Cup with a 3-1 extra time win over West Auckland on Good Friday.

Meanwhile Ashington have won an award run by Groundtastic magazine for the best new non-league stand for 2015-16.

Groundtastic reader Pete Sixsmith will present the award to the Woodhorn Lane club at Craik Park on Wednesday, April 13, when the Colliers make the short distance to play FA Vase finalists Morpeth Town.

Ashington’s Akzonobel stand was officially opened in November last year.