Ashington 1-0 Guisborough Town
|Ebac Northern League Division 1
KO KO 34 50 56 76 82 83 89 FT
Guisborough Town Manager Steve Bell praised his injury-hit side for their “immense” display at Ashington where a hotly-disputed penalty led to a last-minute winner for the promotion-chasing Colliers on Saturday.
Following the Priorymen’s shock midweek North Riding Senior Cup Semi-final exit at the hands of unfancied South Park Rangers, the side came in for some stern and deserved harsh criticism
However they bounced back convincingly at high-flying Ashington and put on a display that was nothing less than heroic which Steve described as an immense performance.
He commented: “Due to our serious midweek injuries, we had to play a few of the lads in some strange positions because of the absence of some of our top players.
“We devised a game plan which went so close to working successfully until a linesman on the dugout side of the pitch seemed to have other ideas.
“”When we played Heaton Stannington shortly after Christmas I was very critical of the officials that day and if we had still be there even now we still wouldn’t have scored!
“However, the linesman at Stannington who gave a ridiculous penalty against us then and did exactly the same today late on which is so frustrating and heart-breaking for the lads.
“Even before that late goal we should have been 2-0 up as early as the 20th minute. Ashington then proceeded to have most of the ball which we knew would happen but we were absolutely brilliant in our defending.
“Then with 88 minutes gone that linesman intervened and it cost us the game.
“I’m gutted for the lads as they deserved better today,” added Steve.
That flashpoint on 88 minutes happened whenAshington substitute Paul Robinson appeared to throw himself to the ground with no sign of any contact from any Guisborough player – and this is backed up conclusively by a video clip circulating on Twitter.
It looked like the referee was going to play on but the linesman flagged and, to the utter shock and disbelief of the Guisborough players, the referee appeared to change his mind after consulting the linesman and award Ashington an extremely harsh penalty.
Anyway, you can judge for yourself by viewing the video clip below on the Guisborough Town official Twitter site at:
On the video Robinson looks as if he thought he was going to get a yellow card for diving, let alone a penalty!
WILL’S FANTASTIC SAVE!
Guisborough goalkeeper Will Cowey pulled off a fantastic save to turn Damion Mullen’s spot kick away but the ball went loose and was crossed back into the middle of the Guisborough goal where Ben Harmison headed in the winning goal for an unfair 1-0 win to the home side.
It was extremely rough justice on the Priorymen who had more than restored the lost pride from the midweek cup defeat with a performance full of commitment, staunch defending and some stunning raids on the Ashington goal.
After just two minutes Guisborough winger Jack Blackford, looking in irresistible form, cut beautifully into the Ashington box and curled a great strike to the far corner but the Ashington goalkeeper dived to push it away.
Then five minutes later Blackford and Mikey McGee combined superbly and the latter raced clear but his shot was well saved by the Ashington ‘keeper.
In the 13th minute the Priorymen went incredibly close to opening the scoring when a clever corner found Blackford lurking on the edge of the box and his brilliant shot struck the Ashington bar and bounced clear.
On 22 minutes Ashington had the ball in the Guisborough net but it was disallowed for hand ball by a home forward.
As Ashington started to come more into the game as an attacking force they went close on 39 minutes when Guisborough defender Tommy Marron got in a great block to keep a goal bound shot out and keep the score 0-0 to half-time.
Guisborough started the second half well with the bustling Callum Martin seeing a 46th minute shot blocked then it was the turn of Cowey to keep Ashington at bay with a good save on 48 minutes.
In the 52nd minute Guisborough came within the width of a post from taking the lead following a move of rare class once again between Blackford and McGee. They played a great one-two with each other before McGee’s brilliant shot shaved the foot of the far post – with the help of a slight Ashington deflection, but not corner was awarded.
Three minutes later and Blackford continued his scintillating display with a great dribble forward only to see his shot saved.
Ashington then started to peg Guisborough back in defence and Cowey was in great form keeping several efforts out.
In the 84th minute Ashington went close when a Harmison header came back off the underside of the Guisborough bar and the ball was cleared to safety.
Five minutes later came the hugely controversial penalty incident and even when Ashington scored after Cowey’s wonder spot kick save, the Priorymen didn’t give up and continued to drive forward for what would have been a richly deserved equaliser.
In virtually the last minute Guisborough won a free kick on the edge of the Ashington penalty and a Shabs Mohammed ‘special’ whistled literally an inch past the far post ensuring a home win in front of a raucous home crowd of 530.
To a man, every single Guisborough player deserves huge credit for their courageous and at times highly skilful efforts.
Report: Bill Perfitt
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|Woodhorn Lane, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9FW