North Shields 3
North Shields continue to set the pace at the top of the Ebac Northern League after a comfortable victory over Ashington at the Daren Persson Stadium on Wednesday night.
Two goals in quick succession in the first period from Lee Mason and Dean Holmes set them on their way before Ryan Carr added a third within the first minute of the second half.
The Colliers pulled one back 20 minutes from time when Ben Harmison converted a penalty but it was nothing more than a mere consolation.
The result brought Shields’ a seventh consecutive win over the Colliers and they could so easily have gone in front after only 34 seconds when Craig McFarlane narrowly failed to get on the end of a cross from the left.
However the ex-Whitley Bay player then tested goalkeeper Conor Grant with a right footer which the stopper did well to push over.
Ashington’s first real threat came in the 17th minute following a throw in from Jonathan Tiffoney.
Ben Harmison glanced the ball on but Paul Antony’s snap shot from 25 yards was easily held by ex Colliers ‘keeper Kyle Hayes.
The home side then took a stranglehold on the game with two goals inside three minutes as the visitors were caught wide open.
Mason notched the first in the 19th minute when he latched onto a pass from the left by Holmes and after rounding Grant, side footed home despite a valiant effort by Wayne Buchanan to clear.
Mason then turned provider as he played the ball across the area from the right for Holmes to apply a clinical finish. Grant repelled a shot from Mason then on the stroke of half time, Lee McAndrew fired over from 22 yards.
Shields effectively made the game safe with a third goal 25 seconds after the restart.
ason was initially involved before finding Holmes who crossed from the right for Carr who cheekily back heeled the ball into the net from six yards.
Ashington enjoyed a lot of possession without being able to find a way past Hayes but in the 72nd minute, they reduced the deficit.
Substitute Dan O’Reilly burst into the area where he was fouled by Stuart Donnison.
Referee Adam Williamson pointed to the spot and Ben Harmison sent Hayes the wrong way. Michael McKeown fired over then home sub Robert Taylor came close when he unleashed a right foot shot which struck the frame of the goal and bounced to safety. On Saturday, Ashington are away to Penrith (3pm).
North Shields: Hayes, Donnison, Lancaster (Summerly 82 minutes), McKeown, Parker, Coppen, McFarlane (Taylor 64 minutes), Ormston, Carr, Mason (Bainbridge 67 minutes), Holmes. Subs not used: Forster, Hughes.
Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Tiffoney, Antony, J Harmison, Buchanan, Sampson, R Bell (Canham 53 minutes), Bulford (O’Reilly 61 minutes), B Harmison, McAndrew (Dormand 67 minutes) sub not used: Glasper (gk)
Referee: Adam Williamson.