ASHINGTON CFC will host Blue Square Bet side Vauxhall Motors on October 1 in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup following a tumultuous victory over Shildon at a pulsating replay at Woodhorn Lane last night.
The Colliers’ win was even more commendable as they were forced to play the last 20 minutes of extra time with only ten men.
Substitute Gareth Bainbridge was stretchered off and taken to Wansbeck General Hospital with a shoulder injury after the home side had already used their full allocation of three replacements.
After a terrific game at Dean Street on Saturday where the side’s finished 0-0, there was no let up in Tuesday night’s rematch as the crowd of 229 were treated to some scintillating football with both sides playing their part to the full.
Ashington took the lead in the 19th minute when Ross Gardner upended Andrew Johnson just inside the box and Jamie Clarke sent keeper Keith Finch the wrong way from the resultant penalty.
Six minutes into the second half the Colliers doubled their lead – again from the spot.
Mark O’Dea’s goalbound shot was blocked by the arm of Shildon skipper Justin Keegan and Clarke again made no mistake, firing home in fine style.
However, within two minutes, Wayne Gredziak had reduced the deficit, heading home at the back post from a John Toft corner.
And with 13 minutes remaining, Chris Hughes rifled home the equaliser after a cheeky back-heel from Grediak.
Chances were scarce in extra time but on 100 minutes Ashington were left to play the game out with only ten men after Bainbridge landed awkwardly having made a challenge near the touchline and was stretchered off.
With no further score, the game went to a penalty shoot-out.
Liam Atkin tucked away Ashington’s first but Ian Watson’s effort for Shildon hit the bar.
Johnson, Dean Deagle and Clarke were all successful for the Colliers as were Ben Christensen, Steven Johnson and Chris Hughes for the Railwaymen.
And when O’Dea placed his penalty into the bottom corner to make it 5-3, it clinched the tie for the Wansbeck side with the club also pocketing £3,000 in prize money and looking forward to a home clash with Vauxhall Motors.
Before the game, players, officials and supporters observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to Les Dodds, a former committee member with Ashington CFC who died last week.
Ashington: Dryden, Buzzeo, Lough (Bainbridge 75 minutes), Dugdale (Taylor 55 minutes), Atkin, Rees, Johnson, O’Dea, Clarke, Godsmark, Fawcett (Deagle 59 minutes). Subs not used: Young, Wightman.