Ashington win nine-goal thriller against Guisborough with last minute strike

Andrew Bulford scored a dramatic last minute winner for Ashington as they edged Guisborough 5-4 at the KGV Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Thursday, 23rd February 2017, 4:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 7:50 am
Ashington striker Andrew Bulford in action. Picture by Ian Appleby

In a game which see-sawed throughout, the Priorymen held the lead on three occasions – the final time at 4-3 on the hour – and must have harboured thoughts of picking up a much needed win in their battle to avoid relegation.

But they were rocked by the non stop Colliers who fought back to score twice in the dying embers of the game.

The Woodhorn Lane outfit made it back to back wins for the first time in the Ebac Northern League since early November, but more significantly, this was their first ever win at the KGV.

With Wayne Buchanan, Ben Christensen and Craig Scott all ruled out, the visitors were handed a pre-match boost when central defensive lynchpin James Harmison came through a late fitness test.

Ryan Bell – Harmison’s partner at the heart of the back four – headed off the line in the fourth minute after a cross from the right by Steven Roberts, then Lee McAndrew dinked an effort with the outside of his right foot which narrowly missed the far post.

Ben Sampson blasted over from a Ben Richardson free kick then Paul Antony lobbed over before the home side edged ahead in the 26th minute.

Guisborough moved the ball across from right to left and when Gary Wood received possession, he let fly with a left footer from the edge of the area which crept just inside the post.

Three minutes later Ashington drew level. Dale Pearson controlled a cross from the right by Shaun Henderson before he was fouled by John Lovatt. Referee Helen Conley pointed to the spot and Richardson made no mistake, drilling an emphatic penalty into the corner and sending home keeper Jordan Nixon the wrong way.

Mason McNeill put the hosts back in front in the 34th minute, again with a left footed finish, but within 60 seconds the Colliers equalised. McAndrew cleverly jinked past his marker and crossed for Pearson who clipped the ball home from nine yards.

Five minutes from the break Ashington went in front with a picture goal. After building down the right, Pearson delivered a pin point cross for Ben Harmison whose firm header from ten yards beat the outstretched hands of Nixon before nestling inside the upright.

However, right on the half-time whistle, Guisborough made it 3-3 when Roberts cut inside from the right and fired a super effort wide of Grant.

Shortly after the interval, Pearson had a goalbound shot blocked from a Richardson free kick, but on the hour, the hosts went back in front with a excellent strike from Louis Goldsack. The forward latched onto a cross from the right, took one touch then lashed an unstoppable right footer between Grant and the post.

Sampson had a shot cleared for a corner by Lovatt then McAndrew somehow missed out when an equaliser looked inevitable.

Ashington introduced Andrew Bulford for the injured James Harmison with brother Ben [Harmison] switching from attack to defence.

Sampson sliced over after being set up by McAndrew before Ashington turned the game on its head with two goals in 90 seconds to clinch all three points.

In the 87th minute, Pearson’s effort was blocked but the ball ran to Ben Harmison who hooked it into the net.

Then Sampson made a foraging run forward before laying the ball off to his right for Bulford who smashed home.

The last time Ashington won a contest by a 5-4 score line came during the 1979-80 season when they beat Billingham Synthonia at Portland Park.

On Saturday, Ashington take on Ebac Northern League leaders North Shields at Woodhorn Lane, kick-off 3pm.

Ashington: Grant, Henderson, Salmon (Tiffoney 70), McAndrew, J Harmison (Bulford 79), R Bell, Sampson, Richardson (McGorrigan 70), Antony, B Harmison, Pearson. Sub not used: Downey.

Attendance: 132.