Sampson shines on full debut for Ashington

Teenager Ben Sampson made his full debut for Ashington on Tuesday night and was involved in two of the goals as his side went on a scoring spree in a 5-1 win against Whitley Bay.

And afterwards, the 17-year-old midfielder, who netted his first for the Woodhorn Lane outfit in the recent 5-0 win over Sunderland Ryhope CW and could so easily have doubled his tally at Hillheads, said he was enjoying playing at senior level.

Manager Steve Harmison had forewarned the youngster at the weekend that he planned to give him his first full start against the Seahorses.

“The boss told me on Saturday that due to people being missing through injuries he was going to play me to see what I could do,” said Ashington-born Sampson.

“I was nervous but I’ve come on as a substitute before and I know what the game is all about. I have done what I was asked to do, have put my head down and worked hard, and what’s more I have enjoyed it.

“It’s different playing at this level from junior football, but it’s a great experience.

“I was pleased with my performance although I would have liked to have got on the ball more.

“But I’m happy to have got a full 90 minutes under my belt, and coupled with a 5-1 win, I’m not complaining.”

Sampson, who helped set up Ashington’s early opener from Lee McAndrew, had the ball in the net himself in the 27th minute only the effort was ruled out as referee Andrew Kitchen had already blown to award a penalty to the Colliers from which Kyle Downey added the second.

Then on the hour, Whitley defender Ryan Keltie turned a Sampson cross into his own net.

“They are a good set of lads in the dressing rooms and I’m really enjoying it,” added Morpeth-based Sampson.

“I’m hoping to get a few more starts and I’d love us to have a good cup run.”