Ashington poor in defeat to West Allotment Celtic

James Taylor heads clear during Ashington's poor display at West Allotment Celtic. Picture by Ian Appleby -
James Taylor heads clear during Ashington's poor display at West Allotment Celtic. Picture by Ian Appleby -

After being in seventh heaven the previous week after a 6-1 thumping of Bishop Auckland, Ashington dramatically plummeted to the other end of the scale on Saturday.

The Colliers slumped to a seventh defeat of the season at Whitley Park as West Allotment Celtic won 2-0.

Perhaps unfortunate not to have claimed a share of the spoils from a five-goal thriller against Marske United in midweek, Saturday’s offering by Gary Middleton’s side was inexplicably poor.

West Allotment deserved the success on the day – with Sean Reid’s terrific strike worthy of winning any game.

Even with quarter of the contest remaining, Reid’s blockbuster effort effectively sealed the issue such was Ashington’s struggle to break down the home defence.

Yet before Kallum McGlen had put Allotment in front, and despite the Wansbeck side looking totally out of sorts, it could have been a different story had Andrew Johnson been able to replicate the same sort of finishing prowess as he had done against Bishops the previous week.

Twice in the space of five minutes early in the second half Johnson was faced with one-on-one opportunities but after striking his first effort over the bar, his next was saved by the legs of home keeper Ryan Beal.

Then on the hour, Reid supplied the pass for McGlen who stroked the ball from just outside the penalty area wide of advancing stopper Conor Grant and inside the far corner.

The deadlock broken, surely it would prompt the Colliers into a response.

But it was not to be and in the 68th minute they were left with a mountain to climb as Reid doubled his side’s lead.

McGlen was the provider in finding Reid, who took full advantage of a visiting defence which gifted him space. After weighing up the situation, Reid bore down then let fly with a right foot screamer from 25 yards which arrowed into the top corner.

Shortly afterwards, Tony Stephenson headed wide after Ben Christensen, Richie Slaughter, Lance McGlen and Glen Taylor had pieced together Ashington’s most positive attack.

But it was an all too rare moment as apart from a rasping left foot drive from Glen Taylor which grazed the bar on full-time, the home defence were solid.

The game had started with Beal forced to tip over a vicious in-swinging corner from Johnson, then the keeper blocked an effort from the Ashington skipper on the half hour.

The period also included a penalty shout for both sides with Denton Burn-based referee Mick McDonough remaining unmoved as firstly Johnson went to ground inside the home area then shortly before the interval Reid did likewise at the other end.

But overall, the game - played on a pitch looking in immaculate condition - lacked in creativity with Reid’s decisive strike providing the only bit of quality in 90 minutes.

Ashington: Grant, McGlen, Christensen, Ferrell (Davison 68), J Taylor, Lumsden, Downey (Oliver 68), Slaughter, Stephenson, G Taylor, Johnson. Sub not used: Barnard.

Tony Stephenson fired Ashington in front with a penalty in midweek against Marske but the visitors drew level on the stroke of half-time through Jamie Owens.

Skipper Craig Gott then converted a spot kick for the visitors before Andrew Johnson levelled with a glancing header.

Ten minutes from time a piece of brilliance from Sam Garvie led to him scoring the winner for the Teessiders.

On Saturday Ashington are at home to Penrith (3pm).