Ashington 0-0 Newton Aycliffe
Ashington missed out on the opportunity to go fifth top of the Ebac Northern League first division on Tuesday night after playing out an uninspiring goalless draw against Newton Aycliffe.
The game – the first to end 0-0 at Woodhorn Lane since Guisborough’s visit in September 2014 - failed to reach any great heights and only came to life in the final quarter hour as both sides went in search of what they hoped would prove to be a winner.
The Colliers, playing their first match for a fortnight, came up against an outfit who although sitting just outside the bottom three, went into the contest unbeaten in their last four league matches. It proved to be a night of frustration for spectators – but in the final analysis, a draw was a fair result.
The clash started in positive fashion but gradually deteriorated. Kyle Downey not far off target inside the opening minutes with a left foot shot from 22 yards then Aycliffe’s Glen Lane stabbed wide from the edge of the area following a cross supplied by Craig Hutchinson and when play switched, Luke Salmon cut inside but fired over right footed. Play continued to be even and the final chance of a disappointing half came in the 40th minute. Ben Christensen crossed from the right and David Edwards had a goalbound shot deflected for a corner.
The deadlock was almost broken on the hour when following a corner on the right by Ashington player /manager Steve Bowey, the ball fell to Salmon whose left foot thunderbolt from 20 yards thudded against the angle of post and crossbar and rebounded clear.
Three minutes later, Wayne Buchanan slotted the ball through for Salmon who again ventured on a darting run where he beat two defenders but shot over. On 73 minutes, substitute Jordan Roberts had the ball in the Ashington net but was flagged offside then home sub Damien Stevens clipped just over with a shot on the turn.
Ten minutes from time, a big opportunity fell Hutchinson’s way but his effort struck a team mate who was offside. Aycliffe continued to push and with five minutes of normal time remaining, home ’keeper Conor Grant made a fantastic block to foil sub Matthew Pennal. Deep into stoppage time, Kurt Matthews was in a great position until Salmon got back to make a superb last ditch tackle to thwart him.
*On Saturday, Ashington are away to Team Northumbria (3pm).
Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Hornsby, Downey, C Scott (McAndrew 55 minutes), Buchanan, Williamson, Bowey (Pearson 69 minutes), L Scott (Stevens 70 minutes), Edwards, Salmon. Subs not used: Stephenson, Carr.