ASHINGTON CFC brought their season to an end on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat to a Consett side that, barring a double-figure win for Whitley Bay in their last game, guarantees the County Durham side second place.
A second-half brace from Consett substitute Gavin Barton was enough for the Steelmen, with his first goal coming within a minute of his arrival on the pitch.
During the first half, Ashington were denied by a mix of good goalkeeping and some poor finishing.
The Colliers were thwarted early in the first half by a good stop from Peter Jameson after Andrew Johnson had been played clean through.
Consett’s main threat through the first half came in the form of former Newcastle United frontman Marc Walton.
The powerful striker was denied midway through the first half by a good stop from Dryden when his curling shot was pushed around the post.
Ashington eventually took the lead on 38 minutes when a cross from the right was met by the head of Stephen Young.
Jameson made another good stop, but he was unable to hold the loose ball and Scott Blandford was on hand to poke the ball home to give the Colliers the lead.
Ashington saw out the remainder of the half in control and almost doubled their lead though Jameson was equal to Gareth Bainbridge’s weak shot.
Consett started the second period much brighter than their visitors, and on 47 minutes almost pulled level when a snap shot from Walton was well saved by Karl Dryden.
This was to be a sign of things to come for the Colliers as they came under some serious early pressure.
The Steelmen then introduced super-sub Barton, who the previous Saturday had scored a hat-trick after his second-half substitution.
It was not long before he made his mark in this game. A ball through from Cuthbertson gave the frontman the chance to volley home from 12 yards on 50 minutes with his first touch.
Walton was then unlucky not to give the Steelmen the lead on 53 minutes. The striker saw Dryden off his line and he shot from near halfway, but his dipping drive just fell wide of the net.
Ashington’s first serious attack of the second period should have restored the lead for the Colliers.
A ball through the middle was met well by Stephen Young, who raced through clean of the defence.
His shot was well saved by Jameson, although the striker really should have done better.
Consett took the lead on 71 minutes when the Steelmen won a corner from the right.
The corner was floated in and knocked away well by Harmison. However, it was fired back into the box and met by Barton, who was in the right place at the right time to leave Dryden with no chance.
Ashington had a glorious opportunity to restore parity on 85 minutes when substitute Mick Hogg beat the offside trap, going clean through on goal.
The striker, recently promoted from the Colliers, shot well, but it drifted just wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.
On 88 minutes, the game took a sour turn after Paul Dunn was red-carded after being penalised for a foul throw and what must have been dissent – a crazy end to a good tempered game in which the referee did well up until the end.
On Wednesday, the Colliers took all three points from a very good Norton side in Teesside.
Goals from Andrew Johnson on 54 and 86 minutes and one from Jonny Godsmark, pictured, capped off a vintage second-half performance and gave the Colliers a 3-0 victory.