Ashington end season on a high with win

Jonny Giles celebrates after giving Ashington the lead in their 2-0 win at Durham City. Picture by Ian Appleby -
Jonny Giles celebrates after giving Ashington the lead in their 2-0 win at Durham City. Picture by Ian Appleby -

Ashington brought the curtain down on their league programme with a fine victory over Durham City at New Ferens Park on Saturday.

Manager Steve Harmison had said in the build-up to the contest that he wanted his side to go out on a high.

And goals in the final quarter hour from substitute Jonathan Giles and Kyle Oliver cemented what was a deserved win.

Before the game, players, officials and supporters observed a minute’s silence for well known and highly respected manager Colin Richardson who passed away recently.

It was the Colliers who made an early impression with Glen Taylor heavily involved as he volleyed wide then headed past the post, the latter following a good incisive move which featured Tony Stephenson and skipper Andrew Johnson.

Ashington’s push continued with keeper Jordan Harkess parrying from Oliver then Taylor firing wide.

Ryan Noble had Durham’s first chance when his half volley went over in the eighth minute.

Shortly afterwards, the same player was off target with a header, whilst at the other end, a free kick by Kyle Downey was squirmed away by Harkess.

Both sides frittered openings and the sequence continued with Taylor having a one-on-one but saw Harkess block, then the striker lifted over the rebound.

Harmison had handed a debut to Craig Smith and the ex-Whitley Bay central defender, who had looked solid, certainly kept the score sheet blank with half-time approaching as he brilliantly blocked on the line to deny Noble from point blank range.

The visitors made a good start to the second period, but in the 55th minute Lance McGlen made a timely block to keep out Patton then Noble clipped the ball wide of Grant and the far post.

Harmison introduced Giles and the move paid dividends four minutes later as the youngster broke the deadlock.

The move itself was excellent with Stephenson playing a one-two with Downey which saw him slip the ball across the face of goal for Giles who drove home at the far post from close range.

Harkess thwarted Johnson before in the 90th minute Ashington sealed the points with a second.

Again the move was slick and when Johnson slipped the ball across, birthday boy Oliver made no mistake with a right footed low drive from 16 yards wide of Harkess.

Two minutes into stoppage time Noble’s venomous effort from the edge of the area crashed off the bar – before the final whistle signalled an 11th win in 15 games for the Wansbeck side since the appointment of the new management team in early February.

Ashington: Grant, McGlen, Christensen, Brooking (Harmison 87), Smith (Giles 67), Buchanan, Oliver, Downey, Stephenson (Dunn 75), Taylor, Johnson. Subs not used: Robson, Williamson.