Ashington High School into last 16 of ESFA National Cup

Ashington's goalscorer (No. 29), runs off to celebrate with a team-mate after opening the scoring. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington's goalscorer (No. 29), runs off to celebrate with a team-mate after opening the scoring. Picture by Ian Appleby

Ashington High School Sports College Under-18s are through to the last 16 of the ESFA National Cup.

They continued their historic journey in the competition on Wednesday afternoon when they comfortably swept Carlisle-based Castle Howard aside 4-1 at Woddhorn Lane.

And the reward for the Wansbeck outfit is a trip to Leeds where they will face Wetherby next month with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.

Ashington had to be patient after squandering a third minute penalty as well as several other chances, albeit in difficult blustery conditions, before finally breaking the deadlock on 27 minutes then adding a crucial second on the stroke of half-time.

Castle Howard found Ashington striker Adam Bains – who broke the football development record in the last round – too hot to handle as he tormented their defence throughout, scoring one and claiming two assists.

However, the tall forward could have given his side a dream start as early as the third minute when he was fouled near the by-line inside the area.

But his spot kick was saved by keeper Dan Swann, who quickly distinguished himself and consequently took the plaudits as Castle Howard’s man of the match.

Callum Johnston then struck the underside of the bar with a venomous right footer before David Ifere fired just wide for the visitors.

Luke Robinson shot wide on two occasions before the impressive Bains used his pace to cut through the Howard defence and when he pulled the ball back, Johnston scored at the second attempt after Swann had saved his initial effort.

The keeper deservedly earned warm applause from the good crowd when he spectacularly tipped over from Bains then three minutes later foiled the striker again saving with his legs. But in the last minute of the half Ashington added a second through Bains, who planted a terrific left foot shot wide of Swann and into the far corner.

Ten minutes after the break, Daniel Costello effectively sealed the game with the home side’s third.

Bains again did the spadework, making great strides with a run down the right flank and when his cross was returned, Costello squeezed a low drive between Swann and the near post.

Later, substitute Lewis Robson was thwarted by Swann – but the keeper had no chance of preventing the fourth which arrived on the hour when Matty Bone netted with a bullet header from a Johnston cross.

Home stopper Cam Bowman denied Ifere and Jack Thorpe before Jack Little rifled home a consolation goal for the visitors three minutes from time with a crisp left foot shot.

Ashington High School SC: Bowman, Hills (Willis), Adkins (Carr), Bone, Green, Bainbridge (Robson), Park, Robinson (Lowes), Costello (Richardson), Johnston (Brown), Bains (Hudson). Sub not used: Ramsden.