Ashington 3-2 Whickham
Jack Butler marked his Ashington debut by scoring a stoppage time winner against Whickham on Saturday, writes Brian Bennett.
The Blyth Spartans winger, signed on a dual registration with the Woodhorn Lane club late last week, was both prominent and impressive and was rewarded for his sterling efforts, stabbing home in the fifth minute of time added on.
The goal may have been harsh on a Whickham side who chased and harassed throughout and would have been worthy of a share of the spoils.
But whilst Butler had a debut to remember, it was the complete opposite for another newcomer, Adam Rundle who after being injured just before the half way mark in the first half, was forced to leave the field on crutches.
After a quiet opening the Wansbeck side took the lead in the 28th minute. King slotted a lovely weighted ball through for David Edwards who sprung the offside trap and slotted past advancing ‘keeper Joe Clayton.
Whickham went close with a Bulford free kick which thundered off the crossbar, but 12 minutes into the second half, The Lang Jacks equalised when Thear whipped a right foot effort across Grant and inside the far post.
Within two minutes Ashington were back in front when Channon North swept home first time from eight yards.
Within seconds, the visitors were baying for a penalty when Thear went tumbling inside the box.
Whickham levelled when Grant parried a shot from Bulford and when the ball ran free to Dale Burrell, the midfielder coolly picked his spot to lash home.
Two minutes from time, substitute Joe Mole took the ball around Grant but fired into the side netting - then came the dramatic and late finale. Downey’s corner on the right found Butler who from six yards squeezed his shot between Clayton and the post to put Ashington into a 3-2 lead.
Still the drama continued and Bulford almost had the final say with the last kick of the game, but his free kick from 20 yards was narrowly off target.