Ashington do quickfire double over Benfield

Ashington captain Andrew Johnson during a previous game.
Ashington captain Andrew Johnson during a previous game.

Ashington completed a quickfire double over Newcastle Benfield on Wednesday night, running out comfortable 3-0 winners.

It was only last week that the Colliers knocked the Sam Smith’s Park outfit out of the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup after a 5-3 victory, and they won by an even bigger margin this time around.

The win takes them up to 12th place in the Ebac Northern League’s division one with 16 points, five points and seven places ahead of their hosts.

They laid the foundations for this result in an impressive first half.

Ashinton’s three goals – from skipper Andrew Johnson, Matty Grieve and Michael King – all came in the opening 45 minutes, and only an outstanding display in the home goal from keeper Mark Cook prevented a rout.

Johnson was a constant menace down the left flank all night.

It was a busy night for referee Chris Ellis as he brandished seven yellow cards including ones for Michael Dixon and Joe Race for the visitors.

Ashington started well, but in a first half littered by niggly fouls, it was the hosts who threatened most at first, and Lewis Scorgie had the ball in the net, though his effort was chalked off for an infringement.

However, two goals in a five-minute spell put the Colliers in command.

Johnson had a great opportunity, but saw his shot fisted away by Cook before, in the 26th minute, the Ashington player latched onto a precise through pass from Dixon, wriggled inside the area and slotted home.

Cook then denied Johnson again, but there was no keeping the skipper out of the limelight, and on the half hour, he swung over a corner to the far post, where Dixon’s header was blocked on the line, but the ball ran to Grieve, who side-footed in from close range.

A minute before the interval, goal No 3 arrived, and it was a beauty.

The Harmison brothers combined, with James finding Ben down the right, and when he laid off a lovely weighted pass, King did the rest, advancing into the area and calmly steering the ball into the corner of the net.

Early in the second period, a Johnson volley screamed wide, then Cook scooped out a header off the line from Ben Harmison.

On the hour, Steven Baptist had a left-footer tipped around by Conor Grant, and the hosts pieced together a flowing move which ended in the ball being put wide of the upright.

Benfield just could not get to grips with the skill and pace of Johnson, and after Cook had kept out efforts from Johnson and Ben Harmison, Kyle Downey drove wide.

With time running out, Johnson again beat his marker and delivered an inviting low cross, but substitute Race just failed to connect while sliding in at the far post.

Ashington: Grant, Blandford, Weldon, Downey, J Harmison (Christensen 46 minutes), Grieve, Moore, Dixon, King (Race 66 minutes), B Harmison (Oliver 78 minutes), Johnson. Subs not used: Scott, Hall.