Ashington stretched their unbeaten run in league and cup to nine matches on Saturday with a deserved victory over Jarrow Roofing at Woodhorn Lane.
Jarrow Roofing 1
by Brian Bennett
And for skipper Andrew Johnson the season continues to flourish as the striker netted his tenth goal in the last nine games which took his tally for the campaign to 17
Before the game got under way, a minute’s silence was observed in respect of the tragic events which had unfolded in Paris on Friday evening.
The visitors were prominent in the opening minute as a pass from Daniel Carson, brother of ex-Ashington forward David, found Paul Chow but the danger was averted by a timely tackle from Matty Grieve.
Then in the third minute it was the Colliers who got their noses in front.
Johnson weaved inside two defenders in the box until he was sent sprawling by Kieran Wrightson. Newton Aycliffe-based referee Chris Ellis pointed to the spot and Josh Gray scored his first goal for the club as he sent keeper Dan Regan the wrong way.
Carson made a vital interception to halt Johnson in his tracks then Chow beat the offside trap but saw his rising left footed effort clear the bar.
A low centre from the left by Gray went begging across the face of goal before home stopper Ben Dudzinski came to his side's rescue.
The impressive ex-Whitley Bay midfielder James Fairley swung over a cross which fell to debutant Callum Patton and the newcomer must have thought he had equalised until he looked on to see his shot brilliantly blocked by Dudzinski with Grieve completing the clearance.
Midway through the half, Kyle Downey and Johnson combined to set up a chance for Ben Harmison but his effort from 16 yards was weak and Regan smothered with ease.
Downey then threaded the ball through the eye of a needle which released Chris Moore in a one-on-one but his shot was deflected by Regan and from the resultant corner on the left by Ollie Hotchkiss, Grieve put his header wide.
Ashington went route one on the half hour with Ben Harmison flicking on Dudzinski’s clearance but Johnson’s shot was turned around by Regan.
The Colliers hit Jarrow with two goals in four minutes at the start of the second half.
Michael Dixon broke up a Roofing attack just outside the Ashington box and Downey led the counter. He released Johnson down the left and the skipper cut inside before curling a sublime right footer from 18 yards wide of Regan and inside the far post.
It was replica of his goal less than 48 hours earlier against a Newcastle United XI and drew warm applause from the home supporters.
Then on 50 minutes, Hotchkiss struck a free kick with pace on it towards the near post where Ben Harmison ghosted in to head inside the upright for his eighth goal of the campaign.
Within 55 seconds, Harmison could have netted again but he got underneath a cross from Moore and Regan gratefully saved.
However, in the 56th minute, the stopper was helpless as Johnson let fly with a right footer from a tight angle only for the ball to thud against the post and bounce to safety.
Still the action continued and on the hour Jarrow reduced the arrears through predator Chow. Patton beat a defender and when his angled drive was brilliantly parried by Dudzinski, the ball fell into the path of Chow who made no mistake.
Three minutes from time Johnson again cut inside from the touchline down the left but when he slipped the ball across for Lee Scott, the substitute clipped narrowly wide of Regan’s right hand post.
Ashington: Dudzinski, Oliver, Gray (Quinn 89), Hotchkiss (Dunn 84), Atkin, Grieve, Moore, Dixon, Downey (Scott 69), B Harmison, Johnson. Sub not used: Grant.
On Saturday, Ashington make the short journey to face North Shields in the second round proper of the FA Vase.
If the scores are level after 90 minutes and additional extra time, the game will be replayed at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday, November 24, with a 7.30pm kick-off.
If there is a result on Saturday, the Colliers will return to the Daren Persson Stadium on Wednesday, November 25, to face the Shieldsmen in the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup.