League champions Shildon put eight past Ashington

Ashington's Kyle Downey. Picture by Gavin Perry
Ashington's Kyle Downey. Picture by Gavin Perry

Ashington were caught up in the middle of Shildon’s title celebrations on Wednesday night as the Railwaymen handed the Colliers an 8-1 drubbing.

Already crowned Ebac Northern League champions and planning to party, Shildon were given a guard of honour on to the pitch by the visitors.

Ashington went into the contest with an incredible four consecutive victories at Dean Street under their belts, but on a night where the champagne corks were popping, Shildon were in no mood to relax and were 2-0 up inside the opening quarter hour.

Visitors keeper Conor Grant had already been called into the action inside two minutes to block Lewis Wing, but in the fourth minute Anthony Bell poked the ball through for Ben Wood, who calmly slotted past Grant from 12 yards.

Bell ought to have doubled the lead when he waltzed through, rounded Grant and had a gaping open goal at his mercy but lifted his effort over the bar from 20 yards.

However, another Shildon goal was imminent, and after Wing had been blocked on two occasions, his second effort forcing a corner on the right, home skipper Danny Moore ghosted in unmarked to plant a thumping header inside the upright from the resultant flag kick.

Ashington’s first chance came midway through the half when Andrew Johnson cut in from the right but fired over, then the skipper struck a venomous goal bound free kick form 30 yards which was pushed away by keeper Lewis Graham.

Six minutes before the break, Shildon added a third. Wood was upended by James Harmison and Billy Greulich-Smith blasted home from the penalty.

In the 53rd minute, the home side introduced Paul Connor and the striker went on to help himself to a hat-trick.

On 62 minutes, Connor started and finished a scintillating move which also involved Greulich-Smith, then within a minute, it was 5-0 as fellow sub Michael Rae met a cross from the right to fire into the roof of the net.

Ashington’s consolation came with quarter of an hour remaining as Kyle Downey unleashed a free kick from 20 yards which took a slight deflection to leave Graham rooted to the spot.

But the relentless hosts added another three before full-time.

Greulich-Smith set up Connor who flicked home on 77 minutes; Connor completed his treble driving in number seven then shortly before the end, Bell latched onto a through ball and made no mistake.

After the final whistle, Shildon skipper Danny Moore was presented with the first division trophy by league chairman Mike Amos, who said they had clinched the title with “style and distinction”.

On Saturday, Ashington are away to Morpeth, kick-off 3pm.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Trodd, Taylor (Webb 46), J Harmison, Grieve, Harvey, Downey, Stevens (Bains 33), Bulford, Johnson. Sub not used: Hall.