Ashington end Consett’s unbeaten start to season

Lance McGlen scored his first ever league goal for Ashington and Marc Walton notched a trademark effort near the end which secured the Colliers their second win of the season at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

The win also put a dent in Consett’s previously unbeaten record.

The Wansbeck side had to work hard for their success, particularly during the second period when they were forced to defend deep, but they had lynchpins Richard Flynn and Phil Lumsden outstanding in a solid and workmanlike display.

The early sparring produced a cat and mouse affair with chances few and far between.

In the second minute following a throw-in from McGlen, Walton found Kyle Oliver whose attempted chip was easily dealt with by keeper Christopher Elliott.

On the quarter hour, Ashington again tried to make in-roads as Walton found Glen Taylor, whose dangerous looking cross was turned away for a corner by Calvin Smith.

Then Chris Moore showed Ben Christensen a clean pair of heels on the right touchline but his cross was played too far in front of incoming Luke Sullivan at the far post.

Home stopper Conor Grant was forced to push away a shot from Sullivan before the Colliers took the lead in the 27th minute through McGlen.

The full back won the ball midway inside the Consett half to find Walton who in turn transferred the ball to Glen Taylor, and his shot was blocked but the ball fell kindly to McGlen who slotted home from eight yards.

Ex-Collier Josh Gray flicked a free kick straight at Grant before a right foot snap shot from fully 30 yards from Richie Slaughter flashed narrowly wide.

Sullivan tried his luck from a similar distance, the ball going wide of the upright, then Elliott tipped over from Glen Taylor.

However, the keeper pulled off a world class save minutes later. Kyle Downey’s free kick from just outside the box found Walton whose header was bound for the corner until Elliott somehow diverted it with his right hand against the woodwork and behind.

Sullivan sliced his kick to fluff a great chance for the visitors before the Colliers went down to ten men as Glen Taylor was led down the tunnel and whisked away to nearby Wansbeck General Hospital with a broken nose following an accidental collision.

New signing Tony Stephenson came on at the start of the second half for Taylor and inside 35 seconds, Calvin Smith had found Michael Mackay whose effort was saved by Grant.

Consett’s unrelenting pressure continued with Grant tipping over from Mackay and Gray, then the visitors had a goal disallowed for an infringement.

However, in the 64th minute and on the counter attack, Stephenson had a marvellous opening to give his side some breathing space. He latched onto a through pass and after shrugging off a defender was left frustrated as his shot was tipped away by the advancing Elliott.

Chances evaporated with both defences on top until the closing stages as Mackay struck the bar, then the same player had a goal wiped out for offside.

But three minutes from the end of normal time, Walton effectively sealed the issue with a terrific second goal against his former club.

Stephenson raided down the left and when he crossed, substitute Dean Critchlow chested the ball down for Walton who wrapped his right foot around a ball which was slightly behind him but still finished with great aplomb as he struck home on the half volley from 14 yards.

On Saturday, Ashington are at home to West Auckland at 3pm.

Ashington: Grant, McGlen (Novak 64), Christensen, Slaughter, Flynn, Lumsden, Oliver (Critchlow 75), Downey, Walton, G Taylor (Stephenson 46), Davison. Subs not used: Elliott, Barnard.

Attendance: 167.

Ashington went out of this seasons FA Cup in a replay in midweek when a solitary goal on the hour from Gary Bradshaw took Scarborough Athletic through to meet Curzon Ashton in the next round.