Dream debut by loanee helps Ashington put four past bottom-placed Winterton Rangers
The game was a clash between two sides at the wrong end of the table – the hosts on the bottom and the Colliers sitting immediately above them – but it was the visitors who emerged as worthy winners on the day.
Having a one goal lead is never comfortable and for the best part of 55 minutes, Ian Skinner’s side were forced to hold onto an early strike given to them by the impressive Connor Thomson, who was making his debut on loan from Morpeth Town.
After Wilson Kneeshaw had doubled the tally, it was a second from Thomson – from the penalty spot – which saw them move into a 3-0 advantage before a first goal for the club by Ben Williams emphasised Ashington’s control and dominance.
In truth, had it not been for a stunning performance by home keeper Nathan Popple coupled with missed chances, as well as Thomson and Dan Maguire rattling the woodwork, Ashington could have hit double figures.
Speaking after the game, Thomson said: “As a debut it couldn’t have gone much better and I’m over the moon.
“As a forward especially, you want to make an impact – either by scoring or claiming an assist – so for me to get a goal after six minutes gave me that confidence to crack on. My second from the spot was a pressure penalty – but you have to back yourself and I’m glad it went in. I took penalties for Morpeth last season and it’s something I like to do – so hopefully I can keep it up.”
Ashington FC coach Ritchie Hill said: “He’s what we have needed and he made a great introduction. Connor just gives us a bit of everything. He’s strong; capable of winning headers; he’s quick and very direct and he’s previously played with Dan Maguire and Wilson Kneeshaw at Blyth Spartans so that helps. He just wants to play and he’s buzzing, which is important.
“The management team at Ashington have been trying to get someone in to give us a bit of help at the top end of the field and Connor is a good fit.”