Skinner delight as Ashington fight back to win the Cleator Cup

Ashington FC manager Ian Skinner was naturally ecstatic on Saturday evening after his side had fought back from a two goal deficit to win the JR Cleator Cup against North Shields at Woodhorn Lane, writes Brian Bennett.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 25th July 2022, 10:59 am
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 11:00 am

Indeed the Colliers were unfortunate to go into the break trailing to goals from David Robinson and Dan Wilson – but they dominated proceedings after the break and drew level through Danny Anderson and ex Robin Lee Mason before Lewis Suddick headed a brilliant winner.

A beaming Skinner emerged from the victorious dressing room and was full of praise for his side: “I thought we had the bit between our teeth when we came out for the second half and certainly to coin a cliché in football, we just ‘ran over the top of them’ and they (North Shields) haven’t been able to deal with it. We moved the ball better than them; we’ve created more chances than them and I can’t think of a real clear cut opportunity which they have had in the second half – certainly I can’t remember our ‘keeper Karl Dryden having to make a save.”

He continued: “Obviously the goal by Danny Anderson early in the second half helped because it gave us a bit of confidence and belief - then we equalised soon after and I was pleased for Lee Mason who has got of the mark.

"For what turned out to be the winner, it was a great free-kick by Dean Briggs and a fantastic header from Lewis Suddick - who had only been on the pitch two or three minutes.

"To be honest, I didn’t think we ever looked like losing it – and if anything we looked the better at going to extend the lead. Robbie (Dale) has brought a good save from a free kick then Jordan Lashley has pulled one out of the sky from nowhere a couple of yards out from goal and also been thwarted by ‘keeper Finlay Hodgson. We just looked a threat - and I thought we thoroughly deserved to win.”

Suddick’s winning headed goal arrived with quarter of an hour remaining and stemmed from a precision free-kick floated into the penalty area by Dean Briggs: “As soon as the ball left Dean’s foot I knew I could get on the end of it,” said the 24 year old, “It was a great delivery; I got up well and as soon as the ball hit my head, I knew it was going into the bottom corner. I haven’t scored many headed goals in my career so it was nice to get one today – and especially as it was the winner.”

North Shields-born Suddick who also lives in the town, came on as a substitute and within five minutes had popped up with the goal: “To be 2-0 down and to come back and win the game 3-2 shows that we have a lot of character as well as quality in the dressing room,” he added.

“Towards the end there was only one way the result was going to go - and if we had played another 10, 20 or 30 minutes I reckon we would have scored even more.”

Suddick continued: “We are more than building a solid base. The new lads who have come into the group as well as the players who have been here for a while, compliment each other and it shows the strength we have got.

"It is great to win the cup and the whole squad are buzzing. I think we’re fit; tactically we’ve all gelled together and everyone is raring to go for Saturday against Seaham.”