Holders North Shields advance past Ashington in FA Vase

North Shields' Ben Richardson. Picture by Ian Warde
North Shields' Ben Richardson. Picture by Ian Warde

Defending holders North Shields brushed Ashington aside in their FA Vase second round tie at the Daren Persson Stadium on Wednesday night.

Ashington went out with a whimper after turning in a poor performance, having never recovered from conceding a goal at the beginning of each half from Ben Richardson and John Parker.

Substitute James Luccock completed the misery just before the end with Shields’ third.

The pitch came through an afternoon inspection and on a reasonably mild night with no wind, the Colliers were up against it from the off as Richardson put the Robins ahead with a goal in the third minute.

After latching onto a ball from the right flank, Richardson took a good first touch as he advanced in the inside right position before calmly slotting the ball wide of the advancing Conor Grant and inside the far post.

After ten minutes Grant fumbled a Richardson free kick but redeemed himself as he pushed the rebound around from Dean Holmes.

Then the stopper was alert again to foil Richardson.

The visitors carved out their first opening just past the midway point in the half when Kyle Oliver pulled the ball back for Andrew Johnson only for keeper Sean McCafferty to get the faintest of touches to divert the ball into the side-netting for a corner.

Two minutes from the break, Robins skipper Kevin Hughes directed a powerful header which thudded against the post and was cleared.

Then Holmes somehow clipped his shot the wrong side of the post as Grant advanced, then the winger rode a challenge from Michael Dixon on the half way line but played the ball across the face of goal.

The home side were breaking with lightning pace, which Ashington were struggling to come to terms with, and five minutes into the second period, the Shieldsmen doubled their advantage.

They forced a corner on the right and when the flag kick was floated across, Parker was allowed a free header at the far post which he duly planted inside the upright.

In the 56th minute, Lee Scott replaced Kyle Oliver and two minutes later the substitute came close to reducing the deficit.

Johnson lobbed the ball into the area and Scott’s glancing header beat McCafferty but was cleared a foot off the line by Stuart Donnison.

Ex-Collier Ryan McGorrigan drove a cross-shot wide and Scott headed off target before Shields added a third in the 88th minute.

The ball was played out to the right where Luccock, inside the area, chipped the ball over Grant and into the net.

The Robins will now face Runcorn Town in the third round on Saturday, December 12.

North Shields: McCafferty, Donnison, Lancaster, McKeown, Parker, Hughes, McGorrigan, Ormston, Bainbridge (Wilson 60), Richardson (Carr 80), Holmes (Luccock 65). Subs not used: Coppen, Bannon.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Weldon, Downey, Atkin, Grieve, Oliver (Scott 56), Dixon, Gray, B Harmison, Johnson. Subs not used: Williams, Dunn, Race, Dudzinski.

Attendance: 464.