Ashington get first league win of the season over Hebburn

Glen Taylor celebrates after heading Ashington into a 2-0 lead in their 3-1 win over Hebburn on Saturday. Picture by Ian Appleby
Glen Taylor celebrates after heading Ashington into a 2-0 lead in their 3-1 win over Hebburn on Saturday. Picture by Ian Appleby

Ashington secured their first win of the season against Hebburn Town at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday.

Kyle Oliver netted his first goal for the club during the first half then strikes from Glen Taylor and Marc Walton in the second period gave the Colliers a comfortable cushion before Marc Costello reduced the deficit with a terrific effort ten minutes from time.

Gary Middleton’s side deservedly bagged the points, but even holding a three-goal advantage, they were forced to work hard against a revamped Hebburn side – under new manager Scott Oliver – who refused to give up.

Ashington dominated for long periods of the first half, having plenty of possession yet they only had the one goal to show for their labours.

The home side made a positive start and inside a minute a back-heel from Walton set up Sam Norris whose toe-poke shot was held by visitors keeper and skipper Andrew Hunter.

Walton went close with a snap shot following a move involving Andrew Johnson, Oliver and Glen Taylor, then in the ninth minute, Norris made inroads down the right flank and when he picked out Johnson with a cross, the midfielder saw his header tipped over in fine style by Hunter.

And it was the custodian who again kept the scoreline blank five minutes later following a free kick by home skipper Liam Atkin.

The restart was flicked on by Glen Taylor to Walton who turned then volleyed goalwards with Hunter turning the ball over.

Hebburn’s first effort came midway through the half, a shot which went well wide from Daniel Reeves, then the Colliers forced the pace again.

A drive from Johnson, who had cut inside, was blocked for a corner before the home side finally opened the door in the 33rd minute.

Johnson rolled a short corner from the left into the path of Oliver who advanced before letting fly with an unstoppable right footer from 20 yards which flew into the corner of the net.

Walton had a first time effort held by Hunter but it was the visitors who ended the session on top as Atkin made a great and timely tackle inside the area to stop Martin Roper, and from the rebound, Roper’s shot was pushed away by Karl Dryden.

In stoppage time, a low drive from Steven Graham forced the home stopper to turn the ball around and from the corner, Daniel Smith’s effort was taken by a grateful keeper.

Early in the second half, a 25-yard free kick by Walton grazed the bar, which was followed by Norris and Lance McGlen combining neatly to set up James Taylor whose shot was deflected.

In the 51st minute Ashington’s second arrived.

Walton produced a superb cross from the right for Glen Taylor who made no mistake with a thumping header.

Ironically, the score prompted Hebburn into a reply with Dryden fisting away from Ben Johnson before Oliver fired over from the edge of the area.

In the 77th minute, Hunter denied a near post effort from Walton but from the corner on the right by Johnson, Chris Smith handled with referee Chris Ellis pointing to the spot.

Walton stepped up and blasted the ball home, sending Hunter the wrong way.

However Hebburn reduced the leeway only four minutes later with a beauty from Costello.

The midfielder unleashed a stinging right foot drive from 20 yards which left Dryden helpless as it crashed into the net via the underside of the bar.

Ashington: Dryden, McGlen, Oliver, Laws (C Scott 63 mins), Atkin, Grieve, Norris (Carson 67 mins), J Taylor, Walton, G Taylor (L Scott 84 mins), Johnson. Subs not used: Briggs, Bell.

On Saturday, Ashington travel to face Scarborough Athletic in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.