River suffer at the hands of league favourites

DIVISION TWO

Ashington RAOB...4 River Coquet...0

RIVER’S second away game of the season was at league favourites Ashington RAOB on Sunday.

The hosts had moved from Blyth Premier League to join Morpeth Sunday League.

From the start, River were under the cosh but the defensive pairing of Spiers and Dewson soaked up all the pressure and River keeper Straker hardly had a save to make.

At the other end, Burton and Keen worked hard, the latter covering every blade of grass but to little avail as both teams went in at half-time at 0-0.

The teams emerged for the second half with England cricket legend Steve Harmison watching from the touchline. As the game opened up a little bit more, River started to create some chances, with two efforts from captain Taylor and Keen both going close and resulting in corners.

The breakthrough came with a hotly disputed free-kick on the edge of the River box, but not before two controversial yellow cards for both Keen and Dewson, who merely questioned the referee about what the infringement was. The free-kick was dropped by Straker, who realised his mistake as he lay there with head in hands.

Straker then pulled off another acrobatic save to redeem himself once again.

River’s midfield worked hard, with the blistering pace of Robson and the height of Andy Taylor doing what was asked of them in the middle of the park.

An injury to their captain welcomed back Robert Gibson, who had just returned from a long term injury.

River then fell apart with two quick goals in succession to seal Ashington’s second win of the season.

The final nail was put into River’s coffin as a long-range effort hit the back of the net to finish the game 4-0 and condemn River to their first defeat of the season.

River: Straker, Stewart (Thompson), Speirs, Dewson, Dobie, Taylor G, Taylor A (C), (Gibson R), Robson, Fairbridge, Keen, Burton (Brown). Subs: Hall, Roper. Man-of-the-match sponsored by AC Joinery Ltd: Jonny Spiers.

River Coquet are away to local rivals North End Trap on Sunday, kick-off 10.30am.