Ashington unlucky to lose after Cleethorpes score a late bolt from the blue to grab all three points

Ashington were undone by a ‘bolt out of the blue’ at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday as Cleethorpes striker Harrison Poulter’s 80th minute strike clinched the points for his side in a 2-1 win.
Connor Thomson bundled Dan Maguire's cross over the line for the equaliser against Cleethorpes. Picture: Ian BrodieConnor Thomson bundled Dan Maguire's cross over the line for the equaliser against Cleethorpes. Picture: Ian Brodie
Connor Thomson bundled Dan Maguire's cross over the line for the equaliser against Cleethorpes. Picture: Ian Brodie

In a second period where clear-cut chances were rare, the game appeared to be drifting towards a 1-1 stalemate – when against the run of play a blistering effort by Poulter from 20 yards flew into the net.

Even then, in a game which could have gone either way, but one which arguably neither side deserved to lose, Ashington came close to an equaliser in the final minute of the 90.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Substitute Paul Van-Zandvliet slotted the ball through for Connor Thomson, but his shot was cleared off the line.

The visitors started the game by far the better side and in the sixth minute, they duly opened the scoring with a sublime strike.

Ashington lost the ball in their own half and Curtis Bateson got possession, looked up and curled a right foot shot into the far corner.

The Colliers grew into the game and came close to a leveller in the 13th minute.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thomson and Ben Sampson engineered a one-two on the right and when the latter crossed, Dan Maguire’s left footed goal-bound volley was booted off the line by Ben Middleton.

Four minutes later, Karl Ross cut the ball back from the by-line but when Maguire set up Sampson, he drove wide of the upright.

Ashington deservedly drew level midway through the period.

Sampson feigned to have a blast at goal then weaved past two defenders before he passed out wide for Maguire, whose cross-shot was turned in from close range by Thomson.

With defences on top, chances evaporated – until first-half stoppage time when Will Annan charged down the right. Ben Williams got back superbly to snuff out a goalscoring opportunity, but when Annan rolled the ball back, skipper Alex Flett fired over.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Seven minutes into the second half, Bateson burst through down the left but overhit his cross for Brody Robertson and the chance went begging.

Ashington retaliated with Gary Ormston releasing Wilson Kneeshaw, but the forward’s touch let him down as he ran the ball out for a goal kick.

Then midway through the half, Craig Spooner found Ross. The skipper played a superb low diagonal pass through the Cleethorpes defence which only required a finishing touch, except no Ashington player was on hand to pounce.

Bateson twisted inside the area before clipping an effort wide then, following a throw in, Kneeshaw released Thomson but he was blocked at the near post.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Less than 60 seconds later, the home crowd were silenced when Poulter let fly.

Manager Ian Skinner said: “I definitely thought we deserved something from the game for our overall general play and a draw would have been a fair result.”

He added: “We just need to dust ourselves down a little bit and need to manage the load.

“We are running with quite a tight squad at the moment due to injuries and some long term ones – obviously Nathan Buddle, Charlie Exley and Jordan Summerly have all been out for months now – and we’ve had to dip in and get a couple of people dual registered just to help us through the period.”

Related topics: