Ashington 0-1 West Auckland
Ashington went down to their fourth home league defeat of the season at a chilly Woodhorn Lane ground on Saturday as an early goal from Anthony Bell settled this contest, writes Brian Bennett.
After initial sparring between the sides, Bell latched onto a through ball and with a gaping hole in the centre of the home defence to run into, the midfielder coolly advanced then slotted wide of ‘keeper Conor Grant from 12 yards and inside the corner.
It was virtually the midway point of the half before the Colliers posed a threat. Dale Pearson found Lee McAndrew on the right but his cross was too high for Callum Johnston.
At the other end, only the brilliance of Grant denied West a second. Nathan Fisher found himself clear on goal with only the stopper to beat but Grant came out to block.
Shortly before the interval, Arran Wearmouth found Fisher who was again thwarted by Grant and from the corner which ensued on the right, the ball came off a home defender and smacked against the post before being cleared.
Ashington certainly showed more determination at the beginning of the second period and after West ‘keeper Adam McHugh had held a 30 yards free kick from Kyle Downey, an effort from distance by Johnston stung the palms of McHugh who collected at the second attempt.
Ten minutes into the half, Jay Hornsby atoned for an error by making a superb tackle on Fisher who would have been one on one with Grant before the Colliers – going through a good spell – came close when an effort by Pearson was cleared off the line by Colquhoun.
Wearmouth was not far away with a ground shot then the Colliers were reduced in number when Pearson saw red following a foul in the centre circle. The Colliers continued to press, Tony Stephenson being denied by a good tackle from Colquhoun then Matthew Wade had a shot blocked on the line after a great run from Wearmouth.
With quarter of an hour remaining, the visitors had Colquhoun sent off for a foul – but their back line repelled anything that the Colliers threw at them. *On Saturday, Ashington are away to Dunston UTS (3pm).