Ashington FC held to draw at Grantham after 'half mistakes' lead to goals
The result saw the Colliers extend their unbeaten run to three matches. However they should have returned home with all three points even though they were forced to play the last half hour with only 10 men after Paul Van-Zandvliet was red carded for a tackle.
On-loan striker Connor Thomson scored with an early penalty, but Grantham levelled through Luke Hinsley. Barely 40 seconds later, a cross by Thomson was turned into his own net by Sam Muggleton before skipper Greg Smith levelled for the hosts.
At 1-0, the Colliers had two great opportunities to double their lead through Thomson and Craig Spooner, and they proved to be massive turning points, with Grantham’s Muggleton instrumental in the home goals.
For the majority of the game, Ashington coped well Muggleton’s long throws but he had the final say with both of Grantham’s strikes coming after his deliveries into the danger zone.
Speaking after the game, manager Ian Skinner said: “Some of our play today was excellent where we have created chances but missed them at the crucial time to go 2-0 up.
“We hit the post which would probably have killed the game off, but I’ve got to give the lads great credit for the resilience which they showed after Paul Van-Zandvliet had been sent off. I would have hated to be in our back four today to be honest, having to deal with the long throws for 90 minutes, but the lads defended manfully except for two little lapses in concentration with half mistakes which have cost us goals.”
The first goal came after Oli Thompson was upended inside the box and Thomson sent Curtis Hall the wrong way from the spot.
Grantham equalised in the 51st minute when Muggleton’s throw into the area found Hinsley, who hooked the ball home.
Ashington hit back immediately. Thomson’s pace took him past a defender and when he crossed the ball, Muggleton turned it into his own net.
On the hour, Van-Zandvliet was sent off then Wilson Kneeshaw went down under challenge from Hall, the referee waving aside the penalty appeals.
Muggleton was involved in the equaliser, his throw causing problems that allowed Smith to side-foot home.