Skinner masterstroke as Ashington salvage a point

Ashington 1Whitley Bay 1A master stroke by Ashington manager Ian Skinner on Tuesday night saw his side – trailing by a single goal at the interval - rally and go on to collect a deserved share of the spoils from a pulsating Ebac Northern League first division clash against neighbours Whitley Bay at The dwmedia Stadium.

By Brian Bennett
Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 10:14 am
Ashington FC.
Ashington FC.

The Colliers were clearly second best in a first period where the Seahorses dominated and a huge plus for the home outfit was the fact that they were only 1-0 down at the turnaround.

Skinner made a bold double substitution at half time – and Ashington’s second half showing in comparison to their first, was like chalk and cheese.

Yet from the first whistle of the opening half, it could have been so different as Skinner’s men started the game well. After only 22 seconds, Jordan Summerly raided down the left and found Dean Briggs but his effort rippled the side netting.

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Whitley hit back with Jamie Dunn firing wide from 25 yards.

Then in the tenth minute Whitley’s ex Ashington ‘keeper Chris Bannon kept the score sheet blank with a save from Bobby Taylor.

Whitley got on top and Richard Coulson blasted over.

The opening goal came on 21 minutes when Adam Shanks unleashed a power drive from the edge of the area.

Two minutes later, a cross by Dunn cannoned off Summerly and over the bar for a corner then a long ball out of defence found Chanayire who was thwarted by Dryden.

Ross stroked wide of Bannon’s right hand post but as half time approached, only a great save from Dryden kept out a certain second from Shanks.

Before the start of the second half, Skinner withdrew Ben Sampson and Bobby Taylor introducing Max Emmerson and Brandon Slater. The boss also changed formation and Ashington were superb for the first 20 minutes - although the Colliers still had to be alert with Whitley dangerous on the counter attack.

Five minutes in, Coulson had a shot charged down by Harmison then a shot by Shanks was turned around by Dryden.

Tom Bramley was relishing in his new role out on the right of the defence and in the 55th minute after a Briggs shot had been deflected, Bramley - spurting down the flank - saw his low cross narrowly missed in front of goal by Slater.

But within sixty seconds, Ashington’s relentless pressure saw them get back on terms as Briggs slotted the ball through for Ross who tucked his shot past Bannon.

The last quarter of the game was end to end. Dryden held a shot from Coulson then former Seahorses midfielder Paul Robinson found Summerly down the left but when he crossed, Danny Anderson fired over.

Even in the closing stages, both sides went for the jugular. At one end, Chanayire glanced wide then at the other Ashington forced successive corners and from the second, Whitley were happy to clear following a scramble.

Then in stoppage time, Robinson threaded a pass through for Briggs but he was denied as McFarlane made a brilliant interception.

The home supporters in a crowd of 552, did their best to roar their side on - but in the end a draw was a fair result.