Washington 3-4 Ashington
Ashington recorded back to back wins after a late strike from substitute Jake Turnbull saw them edge out lowly Washington by the odd goal in seven on Saturday, writes Brian Bennett.
On three occasions the Colliers led courtesy of goals from Damien Stevens, Kyle Downey and Dylan Williamson but the plucky hosts hit back with striker Vincent Gash notching a brace before Kieran Broomfield thought he had earned his side a share of the spoils blasting home a rebound.
However, despite the score line it was by no means a seven goal thriller at the Nissan Sports Complex amid freezing temperatures and a strong swirling breeze.
Ashington manager Steve Bowey made five changes from the side which toppled Whitley Bay 3-2 at Woodhorn Lane the previous week. Andrew Cartwright, a loan signing from Blyth Spartans, was handed his debut; goalkeeper Luc Glasper came in for the unavailable Conor Grant and there were recalls for skipper Craig Scott, Jay Hornsby and Dylan Williamson.
Buoyed by that victory against the Bay, Ashington made a telling start getting their noses in front after only five minutes. And it was hot shot striker Damien Stevens who after latching onto a through ball from Luke Salmon, cut in from the left and slotted the ball wide of home ‘keeper Dan Gladstone to record his sixth goal in three games.
But Washington – who had lost 7-1 against West Auckland in midweek – never allowed their heads to drop and pounced on a defensive error in the 19th minute to level with Vincent Gash stroking the ball wide of Glasper from 12 yards. The stopper blocked an effort from Broomfield then Williamson found Stevens but he delayed his shot and when he pulled back the ball was cleared.
Ashington regained the lead in the last minute of the half through Kyle Downey who was making his 200th appearance for the Black & Whites. Gladstone had held onto a right footer from Williamson but in the next minute the ‘keeper appeared to push an in-swinging corner on the right from Downey into his own net. The home outfit protested claiming Gladstone had been impeded but referee Andrew Kitchen remained unmoved and the goal stood. Deep into first half stoppage time, Glasper saved well with his legs to deny Gash who struck a free-kick on target from 20 yards.
Two minutes into the second period, Williamson put Stevens through but Luke Thompson did well to avert the danger and clear for a corner. The interception proved to be even more significant sixty seconds later as Washington levelled. They broke quickly from the flag kick and when the ball was played to Gash on the right, he made no mistake, side footing wide of Glasper.
On the hour, Lee Scott headed over a good chance following a cross by Cartwright after initial good work by sub Jake Turnbull who had only been on the field 90 seconds. Turnbull then cut inside but saw his shot blocked before the Wansbeck side moved into a 3-2 lead in the 63rd minute. Ben Christensen crossed from the right and Williamson finished neatly with a shot on the turn from six yards which nestled neatly inside the bottom corner of the net.
Gash fired a shot across goal then Washington – second bottom of the table – hit back for a third time. Benjamin Gibbon’s drive thudded against the upright and Broomfield lashed home the rebound high into the net. Wayne Buchanan had a header cleared off the line and after a ball from David Edwards had seen Gladstone leave his area to clear, sub Tony Stephenson lobbed wide.
But the final twist came in the 87th minute with Turnbull scoring what proved to be the winner. The winger had been a livewire since his introduction and when Williamson crossed from the right, Turnbull calmly cut inside a defender then fired home right footed - much to the delight of his team mates and the travelling army of supporters from Wansbeck