Ashington suffer second defeat to start season badly

Ashington suffered a second defeat inside four days when Penrith came from behind to deservedly take all three points in a 3-1 victory at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.

And just to rub salt into sore wounds, the Wansbeck side were forced to play the final eight minutes with ten men after Dylan Williamson was sent off for a second yellow card.

The Colliers, who had lost their first game of the season at Washington on Saturday by the same scoreline, were looking to bounce back but they were pinned in their own half for the opening quarter hour with the Cumbrians firmly in the ascendancy.

Yet in an opening period where chances were at a premium, it was Steve Harmison’s outfit who carved out the first opportunity in the fourth minute.

Jonathyn Quinn found Williamson on the right but when he crossed into the middle, skipper Andrew Johnson, on his return to the side after being forced to sit out the opening game through suspension, struck a tame effort which was easily fielded by keeper Joshua Richardson.

The visitors were in the ascendancy and three minutes later Martyn Coleman wriggled into the box but his shot was cleared by James Harmison.

From the resultant corner the ball broke to the edge of the area where Richard Faustino drilled in a low shot which was held by home keeper Conor Grant.

Midway through the half Ashington went in front with a well worked goal.

Kyle Oliver and Johnson schemed a couple of one twos from a free kick and when the latter crossed into the danger zone, Harmison ghosted in to plant a firm right footer into the back of the net from seven yards.

Ashington eventually grew into the contest and a ball played through by Oliver saw Johnson drive over a centre which went across the face of goal.

Three minutes before the break, following a throw-in, Grant comfortably pocketed from Coleman after the front man had been allowed a free header at the far post.

And in their next raid, Coleman, who was proving to be a handful, beat two defenders but was eventually snuffed out by Grant.

Four minutes into the second half the Cumbrians levelled following a free kick on the right touchline. The ball was played into the middle and when it fell to Coleman, he hooked in left footed into the roof of the net.

Five minutes later Penrith ought to have gone ahead but Coleman missed a sitter. The striker rode a challenge outside the area then side-stepped the advancing Grant but with an open goal at his mercy, clipped his effort against the foot of the post.

It was an incredible escape for the Colliers, and midway through the period, Johnson fluffed a great opening to regain the lead for his side.

He went through two players which put him one-on-one with Richardson but his side-footer was blocked by the keeper.

Chris Moore hit the side-netting then Williamson curled an effort from 18 yards which was collected by Richardson.

However, in the 77th minute, Penrith went in front with a move and finish which would have been a contender for any goal of the month competition.

Ashington were guilty of losing the ball in midfield but nevertheless the visitors quickly pieced together an incisive attack and Nathan Waterson, who had only been on the field 18 minutes as a substitute, whipped a superb shot from 20 yards across Grant and inside the far corner.

Then in the 82nd minute Williamson and Jake Smith contested a 50-50 ball just outside the area with referee Benjamin Speedie blowing for a Penrith free kick and issuing the Ashington man with a second yellow card.

Five minutes from time, Jamie Hope rifled home his side’s third from the edge of the box which secured the victory for the Cumbrians.

Ashington: Grant, Atkin, Oliver, Downey (Bell 70), Harmison, Grieve, Moore, Blandford, Williamson, Quinn, Johnson. Subs not used: Christensen, Dunn, Smith, Stephenson.