Harmison and Spooner both hit doubles as Ashington down Celtic

Action from the game between Ashington and West Allotment Celtic on Saturday. Picture by Ian Brodie.Action from the game between Ashington and West Allotment Celtic on Saturday. Picture by Ian Brodie.
Action from the game between Ashington and West Allotment Celtic on Saturday. Picture by Ian Brodie.
Ashington 4West Allotment Celtic 2Ashington’s Ben Harmison and Craig Spooner both hit doubles as the Colliers turned on the style before picking up maximum points against West Allotment Celtic at The dwmedia Stadium on Saturday, writes Brian Bennett.

The Wansbeck outfit did things the hard way too after conceding early on - but kicking into the teeth of a very strong wind as well as driving rain in the first half, they hit back immediately and played some scintillating football.

The North Tynesiders took the lead on the quarter hour. From a right sided free kick, Jacob Forster’s header went across home ‘keeper Karl Dryden before hitting the post and Mikel Thompson slotted home the rebound.

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However, Ashington’s riposte was to draw level within a minute. Spooner sprayed the ball out wide to Liam Doyle who delivered a pinpoint cross which was met by skipper Harmison who headed powerfully home from six yards.

The Colliers got on top and went 2-1 up in the 26th minute with the lively Spooner applying the finishing touch, side footing across Allotment’s debutant ‘keeper Reece Monaghan and just inside the post.

Four minutes before the interval, Ashington got a third. Suddick’s free kick found Harmison who prodded the ball goalwards. Kalthoeber and a defender then got touches before Harmison had the final say netting from close range.

However, barely 60 seconds later, the Colliers backed off allowing Matthew Hayton to advance through the middle and steer a low effort from 20 yards wide of Dryden to make it 3-2.

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If Spooner’s first goal had been the culmination of a well worked team effort, his second - which came three minutes after the interval - was individual brilliance.

He received the ball, advanced then curled a stunning left footer from 22 yards which left Monaghan grasping thin air before the ball screamed inside the top corner.

Dean Briggs had a shot held by Monaghan before a header by Jack Errington following a corner was cleared off the line by Doyle and Dryden.

The visitors then suffered a blow when Callum Larmouth pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

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Ashington continued to press and in the 63rd minute, great link up play down the left flank between Paul Robinson and Jordan Summerly saw the latter pull the ball back but Briggs’s shot was cleared off the line by Michael Leech.

Two minutes later, a 25 yards free-kick by Spooner was superbly pushed over the bar by Monaghan then Robinson and Summerly combined again to set up another opportunity for Briggs who was also thwarted by the ‘keeper as he palmed the ball to safety.

The players were adapting well on a gluepot of a pitch but ten minutes from time, Allotment were reduced to ten men. Substitute Sam Bryan – who was introduced on the hour mark and who was cautioned five minutes later - received a second yellow card from referee Mark Ryan following a tackle on sub Karl Ross.