Whickham 5-0 Ashington
Old boys Matty Grieve, Damien Stevens, Andrew Bulford and Kyle Oliver combined to put the skids under Ashington at the Glebe ground on Saturday, writes Brian Bennett.
Grieve and Stevens both scored for Whickham and Bulford claimed assists whilst Oliver - a fourth ex Collier - was in the starting line up.
The Lang Jacks gave their relegation fears a massive boost with this victory but on the balance of play, the final outcome may have been harsh on the Wansbeck outfit who were unfortunate to go in at half time trailing by a solitary goal.
However after Whickham had notched a quick fire second followed by a third goal just past the hour mark, they could have gone nap long before they scored twice in the closing stages.
The visitors began well and in the sixth minute, a Chris Youldon effort was blocked. The Colliers then had penalty appeals for a handball shout turned down before the hosts took the lead in the 28th minute – with a goal from ex-Ashington servant Grieve. The centre half met a corner from the right by Max Cowburn to send a superb looping header over ‘keeper Conor Grant.
Jake Turnbull and Shaun Henderson then stung the palms of ‘keeper Dimitrios Tsapalos. But at the other end, Whickham went close to doubling their advantage when a header from Scott Martindale hit the bar and the follow up effort by Stevens was blocked.
The second period was only 30 seconds old when Grant produced a fabulous save to deny Bulford but in the 49th minute, Whickham got their second when Cowburn curled a terrific effort just inside the upright.
In the 64th minute, the game was all over as a contest. The ball was crossed from the right and Stevens powered home a classic header which gave Grant no chance.
Sub Lewis Orrell struck the woodwork after latching onto a cross from Cowburn but the Lang Jacks added another two goals in the final seven minutes.
Orrell set up Bulford who was denied by Grant but the rebound fell to Orrell who slammed the ball home. Then in stoppage time, John Martin swept in Whickham’s fifth.