Sterling performance against Ossett United sees Ashington win three games on the bounce

Ashington keeper Karl Dryden was in inspired form against Ossett United. Picture: Ian BrodieAshington keeper Karl Dryden was in inspired form against Ossett United. Picture: Ian Brodie
Ashington keeper Karl Dryden was in inspired form against Ossett United. Picture: Ian Brodie
Ashington extended their run of good form to four matches – including three wins on the bounce – with an excellent 2-1 win against Ossett United on Saturday.

After the hosts had gone ahead just shy of the hour mark with a goal from Adam Priestley, on-loan striker Connor Thomson scored twice in quick succession – which took his goals tally to 13 and left the home outfit stunned.

The Wansbeck side then missed opportunities to add to their lead and survived some anxious moments before seeing the game out.

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What made the victory even sweeter was that with injuries and unavailability, coupled with Oli Thompson and Will Constantin being recalled from their loan spells by Gateshead, manager Ian Skinner travelled with a threadbare squad and could only name two outfield players plus goalkeeper Ross Coombe on the bench.

However, the players put every ounce of energy into a sterling performance at the Ingfield Stadium – including keeper Karl Dryden turning in an inspired display – and deserved their latest success.

Nine minutes into the contest and after a 30-yard run down the left, Wilson Kneeshaw had a low shot blocked, then Thomson was also thwarted.

Sandwiched in-between, Kelan Swailes was denied by Dryden.

On the quarter hour, a brilliant passing move down the right ended with Dan Maguire’s effort being turned away by home keeper Matt Bancroft.

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Ossett’s riposte came within three minutes. A drive by Swailes brought a world-class save out of Dryden and Janni Lipka’s follow-up shot thudded against the post.

Play switched to the other end and a one-two between Cam Gascoigne and Paul Van-Zandvliet ended when a cross by the former was intercepted.

Just before the break, Priestley found skipper Alex Peterson whose effort was held by Dryden.

Ninety seconds after the break, Bancroft sliced an attempted clearance but got back to deny Kneeshaw from a tight angle.

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Then came an action-packed five minutes which included all three goals.

In the 58th minute, Ossett got the opener when they switched the ball to Priestley, who was in acres of space down the right, and he slotted wide of Dryden.

Two minutes later, Craig Spooner found Maguire whose pass cut the Ossett defence open. Thomson’s pace saw him get a touch past Bancroft before side footing into the net.

What turned out to be the winning goal came in the 63rd minute. Maguire was once again involved as he played a pass through for Kneeshaw, who pulled the ball across for Thomson to fire home.

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The Colliers had chances to increase their advantage through Kneeshaw, Maguire and Karl Ross, with a free kick by Spooner drifting inches over the bar.

The last 10 minutes developed into a frenetic and nailbiting affair. Maguire and Kneeshaw set up Thomson, who drove across goal, then Thomson was denied his hat-trick when his effort was turned around by Bancroft.

At the other end, Ashington’s defence was outstanding.

In the final minute of the 90, Dryden pushed out a free kick before the stopper gratefully held on from Swailes.

Goalscorer Thomson said: “I’m over the moon, but being brutally honest, I probably should have had more. Nevertheless I’m glad I got the two and the good thing was that as soon as they scored, we’ve impacted on the situation straight away.”

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