Ashington High School lose to Monkseaton in County Cup final

Ashington High School Sports College U18s who were beaten in the County Cup final by Monkseaton High School. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington High School Sports College U18s who were beaten in the County Cup final by Monkseaton High School. Picture by Ian Appleby

A first half minute strike from Liam Wotherspoon was enough for Monkseaton High School to lift the County Cup for the sixth successive season as they beat Ashington Sports College at Woodhorn Lane on Thursday.

Wotherspoon latched onto a header from Jak Morris on 33 minutes to net with an assured right footed finish from 16 yards past home keeper Cameron Bowman after initial work by Robert Taylor.

In front of a good following of supporters, the first chance fell to the visitors in the fifth minute when Morris fired wide from 18 yards.

But Ashington retaliated and carved out two great openings inside as many minutes.

Skipper Adam Bains headed on an in-swinging free kick by Dan Costello and a first time volley by Callum Johnston rippled the side netting.

Then a through ball by Johnston set up an opportunity for Bains, who forced wide, saw his left footer go straight into the arms of keeper David Morton.

The Wansbeck side continued to play some attractive football but it was Monskseaton who threatened.

Bowman held a restart from Wotherspoon then Sean Cowx headed over following a corner on the left.

However in the 28th minute, the visitors almost took the lead in bizarre fashion.

A long range shot by Taylor struck Ashington defender Matthew Bone and looped wide of Bowman to thud against the inside of the post and roll along the line before being cleared.

Wotherspoon then scored what proved to be all important strike.

But again Ashington failed to lie down and within two minutes Costello and Bains had worked a one-two but the former clipped the ball wide of the far post.

Early in the second period, Bains seized on a back pass but saw his shot deflected behind, and from Costello’s corner, Bains headed wide.

Sixty seconds later, Bowman kept his side in with a shout with a stunning double save from Taylor and James Scott.

Then a 25 yarder from Wotherspoon flashed low and narrowly wide of Bowman’s left hand post.

The keeper finger-tipped over from Wotherspoon then Morton diverted an in-swinging corner from Johnston over the bar.

After the final whistle, Dennis Fulton, ex-chairman of the ESFA and a life member of the Northumberland Schools FA, presented the cup to triumphant Monkseaton High School captain George Hayton.

Ashington High School SC: Bowman, Adkins, Bainbridge (Bell 72), Robinson (Brown 66), Hills, Bains, Costello (Richardson 74), Johnston, Bone, Green, Hudson.

Monkseaton High School: Morton, Devitt, Bradbury (Summerly 55), Scott, Hayton, Hamilton, Morris, Fairgrieve (Ingram 41), Cowx (Hub 69), Wotherspoon, Taylor.