Noble hat-trick condemns Ashington to heavy home defeat

Josh Grey scores Ashington's equaliser during their home defeat to Seaham Red Star. Picture by Ian Appleby
Josh Grey scores Ashington's equaliser during their home defeat to Seaham Red Star. Picture by Ian Appleby

Ashington remain in a mid-table spot in the Ebac Northern League first division despite an horrendous four days last week.

After the Colliers had exited the FA Vase in disappointing fashion – comprehensively dumped 3-0 by holders North Shields – they again failed to reach any heights on Saturday with Seaham Red Star striker Ryan Noble notching a superb hat trick.

The Woodhorn Lane management team of Steve Harmison, Ian Skinner and Lee Anderson had been looking for their side to bounce back after the Shields debacle, and with a strong wind on their backs, Ashington should have been ahead at the interval.

But for the second time in consecutive games, the Wansbeck outfit leaked goals at the beginning of each half.

Yet again they were chasing the game as early as the third minute.

Craig Lynch won a block tackle with Matty Grieve and when he released Noble, the ex-Sunderland forward curled an exquisite right foot curler wide of home keeper Conor Grant and just inside the far upright.

Ollie Hotchkiss had a 30-yard effort deflected wide of keeper Shaun Newbrook’s right hand post, then in the 11th minute, full back Darren Reay became the first of five yellow cards dished out during the afternoon by Peterlee-based referee David Watson after he had scythed down Josh Gray in full flight.

Again Hotchkiss was not far off target from the resultant restart whilst at the other end home supporters held their breath after ex-Collier Paul Gardiner had gone to ground after a tackle by Michael Dixon with the referee waving aside penalty shouts by the visitors.

Then midway through the half the home side drew level after forcing successive corners on the left.

Hotchkiss was the provider of a ball played into the six-yard box which was poked home by Gray.

Two minutes later the Colliers ought to have gone in front after an assist by Grant. Andrew Johnson latched onto a goal kick but directed his lob from 20 yards over the bar.

Ashington reserved their best move for the 36th minute with Dixon, Johnson and Gray linking well to set up Hotchkiss but he fired off target.

Paul Dunn connected cleanly to smash a thunderbolt half volley from fully 30 yards which looked goalbound until it cannoned off the head of a defender, then as half-time approached, Ben Harmison found Gray who did not have to break stride but saw his shot on the run creep inches wide.

The match took a dramatic turn with only 25 seconds gone in the second period as Seaham got their noses in front a second time through Noble.

The goal was simplicity itself as a clearance from Newbrook bounced over the top of the home defence and allowed Noble the opportunity to tuck a left foot effort from the edge of the area wide of Grant.

It was just the start Ashington did not want and ten minutes later after tempers flared inside the Seaham penalty area, Grieve and Darryll Donnelly were both cautioned.

Newbrook fisted out a shot from Gray, but two minutes later Noble, the star for Seaham, effectively put the game beyond the home side’s reach as he completed his hat-trick.

Lewis Wing floated over a free kick from the right where Noble finished clinically with a powerful header from six yards.

Ben Harmison was blocked out before in the 77th minute the visitors scored a fourth from the spot.

Kane’s pass released Robbie Bird in the inside left position and the ex-Whitley Bay forward advanced into the area with Grant racing towards him. The keeper appeared to get his hand on the ball first before Bird went sprawling and the referee pointed for a penalty. Wing stepped forward to send Grant the wrong way.

Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Weldon, Hotchkiss, Dunn, Grieve, Downey (Scott 61), Dixon, Gray, B Harmison, Johnson. Subs not used: Quinn, Oliver, Atkin, Hall.

Attendance: 176.

On Saturday Ashington are away to Penrith (3pm).