Ashington pay penalty in cup exit

Ashington FC.
Ashington FC.

Northallerton Town 2-2 Ashington

Northallerton won 5-4 on penalties

Ashington paid the penalty a couple of times over after exiting the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup against Northallerton on Tuesday night.

The Colliers endured a nightmare first period during which they found themselves 2-0 down but second half goals from Callum Johnston and Ben Harmison restored parity.

The visitors even had opportunities to win it but still all square after 90 minutes, the game went into penalties and the decisive moment arrived when with the last of their five, Paul Antony’s low effort was pushed away by home ‘keeper Thomas Dawson. Seconds later, Nicky Martin sent Ashington stopper Conor Grant the wrong way to send the underdogs from the Ebac Northern League second division through to the next round. The Wansbeck side began well enough and in the fourth minute, Ben Harmison glanced on for Johnston but his weak shot was easily fielded by Dawson.

Then it all began to go wrong for the Colliers. Luke Salmon and skipper Craig Scott were both yellow carded inside the space of five minutes - the latter for a foul just outside the area – and from the resultant free kick, Aaron Ramsbottom swept home with his right foot wide of Grant. Three minutes later, Harmison glanced home a restart from the left by Paul Antony but the effort was ruled out for offside against Tony Stephenson.

The game turned niggly and scrappy with Salmon clearing off the line but the Colliers almost got back on terms on the half hour when a speculative effort from distance by Harmison caught Dawson off his line but the ball rebounded off the bar.

That proved a turning point because only two minutes later the visitors found themselves two goals down. It was a slick move by the homesters with Liam Jarvie laying the ball off for Martin who drove wide of Grant and inside the far corner.

Straight after half time, Stephenson had a shot deflected for a corner before on 57 minutes, Johnston halved the deficit. Harmison flicked on a right win corner from Antony and Johnston hooked the ball in from close range at the far post. In a game which was constantly punctuated by free kicks,

Harmison volleyed wide then substitute David Edwards fired narrowly off target from just inside the area. Ashington had given a vastly improved performance in the second period and they got back on terms in the 83rd minute.

Substitute Dale Pearson latched onto a through pass from Antony and got past his marker down the left before whipping over a low cross which was side footed home by Harmison.

In the dying minutes, Ashington could have clinched victory with sub Michael Chilton and Edwards both being denied by Dawson. In the shoot out, Chilton, Harmison, Lewis Strafford and Shaun Bell edged their side in front with Samuel Grainger, Joshua Keogh, Jarvie and Ramsbottom levelling things up – before Dawson emerged as the Northallerton hero. *On Saturday, Ashington are away to North Shields (3pm).

Ashington: Grant, Strafford, Salmon (Edwards 35 minutes), Antony, Scott, Buchanan, Stephenson (Pearson 66 minutes), S Bell, Johnston (Chilton 80 minutes), B Harmison, Hornsby. Subs not used: McAndrew, Glasper (gk).

Attendance: 86

Referee: Craig Dean