Ashington leave it late against Penrith
Ashington 3Penrith 1Ashington left it late – before they kick started the New Year with a win against basement side Penrith at The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday, writes Brian Bennett.
Trailing early on to a Jamie Armstrong penalty, the Wansbeck outfit eventually equalised on the hour through Jordan Lashley but it was not until the dying embers of the game that the home side wrapped up the points with goals from Adam Johnson and Dean Briggs.
The match - played out on a heavy pitch at Woodhorn Lane - was only one of three which went ahead in the first division of the Ebac Northern League and the victory saw the Colliers leapfrog over Newton Aycliffe to claim sixth place in the table.
Both sides (Ashington and Penrith) had been inactive for three weeks over the festive period but there was no sign of lethargy as they went toe to toe with each other in a contest which never dropped in tempo throughout.
The Colliers made inroads in the ninth minute when the ball came in from the right flank and Penrith ‘keeper Aaran Taylor made a double save from a header Paul Robinson and the follow up by Ben Sampson.
In their next raid, Johnson fired over but the home crowd were silenced in the 13th minute when against the run of play, Charlie Birch surged into the Ashington area and went tumbling under a combined challenge from Liam Doyle and Yannick Aziakonou.
Referee Chris Joyce immediately pointed for a penalty and Armstrong sent Karl Dryden the wrong way with a coolly taken spot kick to the ‘keeper’s right,
Ashington exerted pressure and had a quarter hour spell of dominance. But
Penrith defended well and in the final third of the period, it was Dryden who prevented the Cumbrians from extending their lead.
After the break, Robinson cut in from the flank and his shot hit the upright with Lashley having a shot blocked.
They eventually drew level when Jordan Summerly and Robinson linked superbly down the left and the latter sent over a precision cross which was headed home at the far post by Lashley.
On a stamina sapping pitch, home manager Ian Skinner introduced fresh legs at different stages sending on Briggs, Bobby Taylor and Danny Anderson withdrawing Aziakonou, Lashley and Doyle whilst in the 75th minute, Penrith were reduced in number when Matthew Moynan – booked in the first half – upended Johnson and was sent off for a second yellow.
Just five minutes from time, Johnson unlocked the door with a piece of brilliance when he spun sharply then whipped a low drive across Taylor and inside the far corner.
In the last minute of the 90, Ashington must have thought they had sealed the result when on a swift counter, substitute Taylor had a shot blocked and Briggs made no mistake blasting home the rebound to make it 3-1 before Penrith hit the post in injury time.
*On Saturday (January 15), the Colliers are away to Sunderland RCA (3pm).