Ashington come good in second half to beat West Auckland

Ben Harmison
Ben Harmison

Ashington chalked up their third home win of the season on Saturday with a strong second half performance seeing off bottom of the table West Auckland at Woodhorn Lane.

Second half strikes from Andrew Johnson, substitute Ben Harmison and Dylan Williamson secured the points after the teams had gone in level at 1-1 at half-time.

The entertainment value or performance was not top notch, but Colliers boss Steve Harmison will be heartened by the welcome three points which earned his side a first victory during September.

The visitors carved out two early chances with a fizzer by Kristopher Goss going wide then John Seaton heading a cross from the left by Mathew Bell off target.

However, Ashington accepted a charitable offering from the Durham outfit to go in front in the 18th minute.

Jake Fenton’s weak back pass was seized on by the alert Joe Race, who stabbed the ball past keeper Daniel Brandham from 14 yards.

Seaton curled wide from distance before the visitors got back on terms on the half hour.

The goal developed after Liam Atkin had a clearance blocked and when the ball reached Anthony Hume, the striker unleashed a left footer which Conor Grant got a hand too but could not keep out.

Indeed the visitors could easily have edged ahead only three minutes later but Grant pushed away a pile driver from Goss.

Chris Moore went close with a flying header from a Williamson cross then a slick move involving Johnson and Atkin saw Race slot home – only for the goal to be disallowed out for offside.

Williamson missed his connection in front of goal after Johnson had wriggled past two defenders and early in the second period it was Williamson who threatened until Jack Proctor made a good recovering tackle to thwart him.

In the 55th minute the home side went ahead for a second time, through skipper Johnson.

Ben Christensen’s through pass released Williamson down the right and when he crossed, Johnson was unmarked at the far post and slotted wide of Brandham.

Moore fired wide and a drive from Williamson was clawed away by Brandham before the game turned dramatically inside a minute.

At one end a lovely weighted cross by Jason Brazauskas was somehow driven wide from six yards by Goss, and when play switched to the other, Ben Harmison put the Colliers into a 3-1 lead.

Johnson claimed the assist with a run down the left flank and when he pulled the ball across, Harmison, who had only been on the field six minutes, scored with an assured right footed finish into the roof of the net from the edge of the area which left Brandham helpless.

Further chances fell to Johnson and Atkin before Williamson made it four with a clinical strike.

He latched onto a through pass down the middle by Moore and drilled wide of the advancing Brandham.

Six minutes from time, Matthew Crossen rammed home a left wing cross from close range to make it 4-2, then in the closing minutes, Johnson was denied by the West Auckland stopper.

In stoppage time, build-up play featuring Gareth Williams, Harmison and Williamson set up an opportunity for Johnson but he could not apply the finishing touch.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Oliver, Williams, Grieve, Atkin, Moore (Robson 83), Downey (Blandford 46), Williamson, Race (B Harmison 63), Johnson. Subs not used: J Harmison, Thompson.

Attendance: 151.

Ashington are on FA Vase duty on Saturday with an away trip to Easington with a 3pm kick-off.

Then on Tuesday, October 6, the Colliers host Newcastle Benfield in the first round of the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup (7.30pm).