Late goals give Ashington a convincing win over Alnwick Town

Marc Walton (blue) gets at the Alnwick defence. Picture by Steve Miller.
Marc Walton (blue) gets at the Alnwick defence. Picture by Steve Miller.
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FIVE goals in the final quarter hour saw Ashington secure an 8-3 win over a gallant Alnwick side at St James Park on Friday in a pre-season friendly.

In an entertaining game played in the evening sunshine, Marc Walton struck a hat-trick and there were braces for Gareth Bainbridge and Stephen Buzzeo.

But the win was not as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests.

The unexpected late goals avalanche left the home side shell-shocked as Paul Yeadon’s team were given a lesson in the art of finishing.

The Colliers went ahead in the tenth minute when Stephen Young’s initial shot was palmed away by keeper Ryan Beal but the striker coolly chipped the rebound into the corner of the net.

Ashington put together a superb move in the 17th minute which ended with Paul Buzzeo’s right footer being held by Beal.

Alnwick drew level in the 21st minute when the ball broke loose from a block tackle involving Ashington’s Craig Scott and the home side’s James Jackson fired past keeper Nick Thompson from 20 yards.

Walton hit the post after a through pass by Ben Sayer then in the 33rd minute Johnny Colley put the home side ahead, slotting the ball wide of Thompson.

Beal pushed over a downward header from Scott following a corner by Tommy English before Ashington equalised five minutes before half-time.

Walton was fouled 22 yards out and the same player struck a gem of a free kick into the roof of the net and wide of Beal.

Two minutes later from an almost identical position, English tried his luck and his effort was dipping just under the bar until Beal superbly tipped it over.

Beal denied Walton then Dan Thompson was upended by Nick Thompson outside the area with Neil Catlow’s free kick being palmed away by the keeper.

Paul Antony was introduced on the hour and three minutes later his measured cross was glanced home by Walton to put Ashington 3-2 ahead.

But Alnwick came back and in the 70th minute broke down the right with Colley squaring for Paul Hodge who slotted into an empty net.

Then came the final flourish from the Colliers.

Walton made it 4-3, completing his hat-trick in the process, after receiving from Bainbridge and teeing up a volley for himself which he finished with aplomb.

Bainbridge made it 5-3, firing into the bottom corner.

Sub keeper Kyle Bernard denied Hodge then a charge upfield by Liam Atkin saw him find Phil Cave whose cross was converted by Stephen Buzzeo.

The latter added the final touch to make it 7-3 after a fine run through the middle by Andrew Johnson.

And the scoring was completed a minute from time when Bainbridge latched onto a through ball and rifled in from the edge of the area.

Ashington: Thompson (Bernard 78 mins), Storey, Cave, Williams, Scott (Grieve 50 mins), P Buzzeo (Atkin 50 mins), Sayer (Antony 60 mins), Dugdale (O’Dea 60 mins), Walton (Johnson 78 mins), Young (Bainbridge 50 mins), English (S Buzzeo 65 mins).

On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Whitley Bay ‘A’ (2pm kick-off) then travel to North Shields on Wednesday, August 1, for a 7.30pm start.