Team Northumbria 3-1 Ashington
Ashington were left to rue a plethora of game changing chances as they slipped to defeat against Team Northumbria at Coach Lane on Saturday.
Damien Stevens had nudged the Colliers ahead before the students hit back with three goals inside quarter of an hour either side of the interval.
Apart from a cold afternoon, conditions were otherwise perfect for this clash including a pitch looking in pristine condition.
In the third minute the visitors could have made a great start. Ben Christensen found Dylan Williamson down the right flank and when he crossed, Stevens was not far off target with a glancing header.
The students retaliated and after a quick raid down the left, Ben Dibb-Fuller’s effort was parried then collected by ‘keeper Conor Grant.
A shot from distance by full back Liviu Cristea flashed wide then Ashington skipper Craig Scott blocked in the nick of time to halt Andrei Ardelean. Midway through the half,
Kyle Downey clipped a free kick from 30 yards narrowly over before Stevens broke the deadlock in the 26th minute. Williamson slotted a precision pass through for Stevens who advanced then calmly slotted a right foot shot wide of advancing ‘keeper Greg Purvis. However the Colliers only held their slender advantage for eight minutes as Joshua Bynoe had the simple task of netting the equaliser following a ball from the left which was played across the face of goal.
Four minutes later, Williamson latched onto a mis-placed back header which left him one on one with Purvis but the winger hastily lashed over from 14 yards. Williamson then crossed low for Stevens to net at the back post only for the effort to be ruled out for offside. Right on the stroke of half time, the Colliers found themselves trailing when Dibb-Fuller crossed for Ardelean who side footed home with ease.
Three minutes into the second half Downey had another restart deflected for a corner and when Williamson delivered the flag kick, Craig Scott had a glorious chance at the far post but somehow placed his header wide. Barely sixty seconds later, Dibb-Fuller put the students 3-1 ahead with a carbon copy of Stevens’s opening goal before Ashington were left shaking their heads as the count of missed opportunities continued to rise. Substitute Lee Scott missed out with a header; Purvis pushed over an effort by David Edwards over then the ‘keeper prevented an own goal from one of his defenders. Lee Scott missed his kick from a Salmon cross and deep into stoppage time, Stevens played a ball in from the touchline which saw Craig Scott head across the face of the goal.
*On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Shildon (3pm).