Ashington 1-2 Shildon
A goal by Shildon’s Matthew Waters midway through the second half sent Ashington tumbling to their ninth home defeat of the season on Tuesday night.
The Railwaymen had taken the lead through Billy Greulich-Smith but the Colliers fought back to level with a peach of a goal from Tony Stephenson.
However whilst it was a night to remember for defender Wayne Buchanan who was making his 100th start for the club, it was a night of misery for home stopper Conor Grant who had to be replaced on the half hour with a thigh injury and with no sub ‘keeper on the bench, Luke Salmon took over between the posts.
Ashington started well and when Stephenson got to the by-line, his low cross was intercepted with Dale Pearson ready to pounce. Five minutes later, Lee McAndrew swung the ball over from the right where Stephenson turned but blazed over.
The Wansbeck side were stung midway through the period as Shildon took the lead. It was a swift one-two which caused Ashington’s undoing and Greulich-Smith advanced before finishing well with a right footer from just inside the area wide of Grant.
Ashington player/boss Steve Bowey came on for Grant with Salmon donning the gloves and the emergency ‘keeper made a highly impressive start as five minutes later he dived full stretch to his right to brilliantly claw away a header from Danny Moore after a free kick by Matthew Robson.
On 40 minutes, the Colliers drew level after an excellent move down the left. Dylan Williamson found Shaun Henderson and when the midfielder crossed low into the area, Stephenson directed a diving header wide of the outstretched hands of Nick Liversedge and into the net off the post.
Three minutes later, following a free kick played into the area by Pearson, Stephenson looked a certain scorer until a last ditch clearance denied him and from the resultant corner by Hornsby, Buchanan headed over. Minutes into the second half, an effort from Adam Gell was arrowing towards the top corner until Salmon tipped over then the ‘keeper palmed away a cross from Greulich-Smith. Ashington hit back and when Pearson found Jay Hornsby down the left, his cross was cleared at the far post.
Midway through, the visitors regained the lead when Greulich-Smith played the ball into the path of Waters who struck a firm drive past Salmon and twelve minutes from time, they had an opportunity to seal the points when Henderson conceded a penalty for a foul but Robson skied the spot kick over the bar.
The final chance came in the third minute of time added on when subs Jake Turnbull and Damien Stevens combined to force a corner on the right but Pearson’s in-swinger eluded David Edwards at the far post.
*On Saturday, Ashington conclude their season with a home game against neighbours North Shields (3pm).