Johnson bags hat-trick for Ashington as Lawyers are hit for six

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THE Lawyers did not have a case to answer as an in-form Ashington CFC side hit them for six at a windswept Woodhorn Lane ground on Saturday.

Midfielder Andrew Johnson bagged a hat-trick with other strikes coming from Iain Nickalls, Mark O’Dea and substitute Damen Mullen as the Colliers took their tally to 16 goals from their last three home outings following the 8-0 rout of Ryton and 2-1 win over West Allotment Celtic.

Tow Law included ex-Collier Luke Parkinson in their side as they kicked into the teeth of a strong wind.

Ashington took a stranglehold on proceedings with three goals in an eight minutes spell.

Johnny Wightman crossed from the left, Stephen Young headed down and Johnson did the rest, poking the ball home inside the post from eight yards.

The second came from skipper Nickalls.

Following two corners on the left by Chris Scott, Ashington switched the taker to Johnson and he floated over a precision cross which saw Nickalls peel away from his marker before sending a bullet of a header into the roof of the net.

Home stopper Karl Dryden dived low to smother a 20-yard effort from Andrew Thompson before Ashington’s third – a personal triumph for Mark O’Dea – arrived on 24 minutes.

Johnson and Young combined down the left and when the latter rolled the ball into the path of O’Dea, the midfielder registered his first goal at Woodhorn Lane after letting fly with a ground shot from just outside the area which beat Robinson.

Three minutes before the break, Watkinson was thwarted by the woodwork when his effort smacked against the post, then Lee Dial’s left footer was tipped around by Dryden.

The Lawyers reduced the deficit when Andrew Thompson squeezed a low drive between Dryden and the upright.

Ashington thought they had added another shortly after the interval when Godsmark unselfishly laid the ball off to Wightman whose shot was brilliantly blocked by Robinson with Johnson slamming home the rebound, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

But two minutes later a text book fourth duly arrived. Godsmark played a one-two with Young on the halfway line and after flying down the right flank the former Newcastle United player swung over an inviting cross for Johnson who sent a downward header wide of Robinson and into the net.

In the 55th minute, Young’s pass sent Johnson through the middle before he was sent sprawling by a tackle outside the area from Tow Law’s player/manager Ian Davison, who was shown a red card.

Two minutes on and who else but Johnson was the centre of attention again as his penalty completed his hat-trick.

To their credit, the Lawyers refused to throw in the towel and Thompson scored.

Dryden pulled off a remarkable double save in the 76th minute from Dial and Derek Waters, then when play switched to the other end, Gareth Bainbridge’s effort was pushed against the post by Robinson.

Ashington capped off their afternoon in fine style with a sixth goal in the 86th minute from substitute Damen Mullen.

Wightman found fellow sub David Colvin on the left and when he crossed into the middle, the on-running Mullen smashed the ball home without ceremony.

Ashington: Dryden, Blandford, Walmsley, Scott, Atkin, Nickalls, Godsmark (Mullen 68 mins), O’Dea, Young (Bainbridge 72 mins), Wightman, Johnson (Colvin 58 mins). Subs not used: Bell, Shaw.

Attendance: 160.

On Saturday Ashington go to Long Buckby for their FA Carlsberg fourth round clash then travel to Belle Vue to face league leaders Consett on Wednesday January 26.