Ashington brought back to earth
Ashington 0-2 Penrith
Ashington came back down to earth with a massive bump at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday, when they turned in a poor display against basement side Penrith who deservedly claimed what was their first win of the season with goals from Shaun Gardner and Martyn Coleman, writes Brian Bennett.
After the euphoria following a brilliant team performance which culminated in a 5-3 victory at Guisborough the previous week, the Colliers were inexplicably below par and crashed to a seventh league defeat on home soil this campaign.
They made an identical start as at Guisborough when they conceded early in the game. Only six minutes were on the clock when Cumbrians keeper Jonny Jamieson’s long clearance bisected the back four which released Coleman.
Defender Aidan Hutchinson did well to initially block the striker then ‘keeper Conor Grant thwarted him but Coleman squared the ball across the face for Gardner to smash into the roof of the net from six yards. It was midway through the period when the home side mounted their first meaningful attack. Chris Youldon played a terrific cross field pass out on the right flank to Jake Turnbull and the full back charged into the box but was superbly tackled by Stuart Johnson.
Ashington had struggled to make any impression but with half time approaching, Jake Cunningham whipped a ball in which went across the face of goal.
At the other end, it was Grant who kept out a second for the Bonny Blues. He tipped around a drive from Coleman from the edge of the area then pushed away a low free kick from a similar distance by the striker with Angelos Eleftheriadis skying over the rebound.
However 80 seconds into the second period, Coleman – who caused problems all afternoon – added a crucial second. He latched onto a through pass, took a superb first touch then rifled the ball across Grant and inside the far corner.
Five minutes later, Hutchinson was blocked out from close range following a Lee McAndrew corner but the game had entered the final 20 minutes when Jamieson was called into the action making identical stops from two efforts by Jack Butler. Meanwhile the Cumbrians could have added to their tally with Robbie Hebson and Gardner both squandering good opportunities.
*On Saturday, Ashington are away to Whickham (3pm).