Ashington 0-1 Hebburn Town
Title aspirants Hebburn Town completed a seasons double over Ashington on Tuesday night when a superb goal from Michael Richardson secured all three points at Woodhorn Lane.
Richardson’s strike came on the half hour when he latched onto a pass from Paul Chow and rifled the ball home from 20 yards past the despairing hands of home goalkeeper Conor Grant.
The goal, which came against the run of play, was a bitter pill for a Colliers side to swallow. Fresh from a deserved 1-1 draw against Shildon on Saturday, Steve Bowey’s side will perform a lot worse and win matches this season.
In the first half they were excellent with slick interchanging passing but lacked the final ball and a finishing touch. Yet the home outfit could so easily have been chasing the game as early as the first minute as Richardson cut inside from the right but fired well over then at the other end, ‘keeper Andrew Jennison held an effort from Jack Butler. Chow shot wide but it was Ashington who were on top and dominating proceedings - and midway through the period another incisive move ended with Zak Atkinson driving the ball across the face of the goal.
Richardson produced an unerring finish to put the visitors in front but in the space of a few minutes, Jennison was called into action, pushing the ball over from Atkinson then holding onto a header from Gez Richardson before Jake Turnbull lashed wide.
In the closing embers of the half, Hebburn could have stretched their lead. Richardson fed Chow whose first shot was blocked by Grant with the ‘keeper pushing away the striker’s second attempt.
Just before the interval, ex Ashington defender Louis Storey had an effort cleared off the line by skipper David Edwards then Luke Sullivan was inches off target.
Full credit to the players who had to contend with appalling conditions of a strong swerling wind and driving rain but the action – or pace of the game - never relented. After the break, chances were at a premium. Grant denied Chow and Ben Dibb-Fuller whilst Robbie Spence and Sullivan were not far away. Richardson had Ashington’s best opportunity, heading a teasing cross from the right by Turnbull wide.
The Colliers showed plenty of spirit and determination in their attempts to get back on terms but they could not find a way through a stubborn visitors defence.
*On Saturday, Ashington are away to Bishop Auckland (3pm).