Ashington make their point against Penrith
Ashington 1Penrith 1David Luke’s first goal in Ashington colours helped his side to earn a 1-1 draw against Penrith at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night, writes Brian Bennett.
After Bobby Atkinson’s opener for the Cumbrians early in the second period, Luke’s fine strike lifted the gloom amongst the home supporters and at the final whistle, brought a run of six consecutive defeats to an end.
Even though the season is still in its early stages, the clash was billed as a six pointer and particularly in the first half, although there was plenty of endeavour, the game was lacking in quality.
In the fifth minute a through ball from Dylan Williamson sent Callum Johnston through but Penrith full back Richard Faustino got across well to block him. At the other end, Ashington’s nemesis Martyn Coleman ventured down the right flank but fired over then on the 20 minutes mark, Adam Main drove wide when well placed. Minutes later, a back-pass let in Johnston but ‘keeper Dan Staples – making his debut after his transfer from the Colliers – saved.
The stopper then kept out efforts from Damien Stevens and Dan Taggart before Williamson blasted over from the edge of the area following a cross by Ben Sampson. In the 33rd minute, the woodwork saved Ashington as a snap shot from the ever dangerous Coleman smacked against the bar. Five minutes before the break, Taggart must have thought he had broken the deadlock when he connected with a cross by Luke. His effort beat Staples and was goalbound until Faustino came from nowhere to clear it off the line.
Christopher Wraighte missed a chance at the far post then seconds from the end of the half, the pacy Stevens - who on his return to the side hounded the Penrith back line all night - outstripped a defender down the left but his shot was blocked by Staples. Two minutes into the second half, the Cumbrians took the lead when Atkinson advanced down the middle and placed a right footer wide of Adam McHugh. Johnny Studholme had a great opportunity to double his sides advantage but blasted well over before Luke equalised with 20 minutes remaining. He got possession on the left of the area and jinked his way across before curling a sizzling low right foot shot past Staples and just inside the upright.
The only other incident of note in a half where chances were at a premium, came in the 78th minute when Wraighte swung over a free-kick which was headed wide by Penrith captain Grant Davidson. Ashington pushed hard for a winner but were unable to breach the Blues defence for a second time.
*On Saturday, Ashington are at home to North Shields (3pm).