Ashington 2-0 Heaton Stannington
League Cup Second Round, Tuesday 3 November 2015
A misty but mild November night saw the Stan travel to Ashington on cup duty. There were 4 changes, mainly due to work commitments, including a first start for Chris Carrasquillo. The home team gained a corner within the 1st minute followed by another 4 minutes later which resulted in a Wright counter attack that was harshly ruled offside. Backhouse cleared the ball in 7 minutes but it went straight to a home forward although he managed to get the ball back with the help of a defender. There was then a counter attack by Carrasquillo who made a great run but, when in front of the keeper under pressure from 2 defenders, he shot just to the right of the goal when it still looked easier to score. After a clash in the 10th minute, Hoggins had to eventually be replaced by Dixon. A move by Yates in the 11th minute saw him pass to Wright who sliced the ball. In 17 minutes there was a high ball through to Wright but the linesman responded to home calls for offside. A minute later and there was a great run by Ashington’s Johnson which was put out for a corner. There were then a number of other home attacks over the next 5 minutes. In the 29th minute, Wear got his head to a Johnson free kick but it went out for a corner. A minute later and Wright hit the post. Soon after Carrasquillo crossed to Waite in the middle who shot high over the bar from outside the box. 2 minutes later and a Johnson free kick was blocked with the rebound shot going wide. In the 36th minute a home free kick was cleared by Backhouse and another Ashington shot was headed away a minute later. The counter attack saw Carrasquillo cross to Yates who passed to Wright who saw his shot put out by the keeper for a corner. There was then a period of sustained Ashington pressure before a Stoddart counter attack in the 41st minute saw his shot forced wide.
The half time rain encouraged much of the crowd to make its way into Ashington’s new 250 seater stand which is not officially due to open until next Thursday. It offered the fans not just a good view of an exciting match but also of a local fireworks display which must have also got the referee’s attention and affected his level of concentration on the match as he seemed to make an increasing amount of wrong decisions including with regards to bookings. The Stan immediately went on the offensive and had 3 efforts. In the 50th minute Ashington should have scored when the ball was crossed to a forward clear on goal. He scuffed the ball and Backhouse managed to block it and then also stopped the rebound shot. A Wright counter attack saw him beat a defender but, with both him and the keeper chasing the ball across the box, he stumbled. Ashington undeservedly took the lead in 56 minutes when an attack from the right saw the ball crossed to a player on the left of the box who fed it to Harmison who tapped it into the net. From the restart, Wright had an effort. In 61 minutes a ball from a corner saw Carrasquillo chip the keeper but his effort went just over. With his back on goal, Wright turned and went past a defender but shot just wide. A home free kick was then blasted in but Backhouse punched the ball clear. Ashington then had 3 corners but there was good defending by th Stan including by Carrasquillo. In the 71st minute, a ball from Dixon saw Wright tribble in the box past 2 defenders but his cross was missed in front of goal by substitute Rowntree. A minute later and a Johnson free kick was caught by the home keeper. After sustained Stan efforts to get an equaliser, the last 13 minutes saw Ashington dominate. A counter attack in the 85th minute saw a Carrasquillo shot dip just over the bar. In the 87th minute, a home attack was blocked by a Stan defender then the rebound ws blocked by Backhouse. The next attack saw Ashington increase their lead to 2-0 when a pass to Ashington’s Johnson was judged by the referee to be marginally on-side and he continued on and shot past the advancing Backhouse. In injury time, Dixon had a shot blocked followed at the other end by an Ashington long shot that hit the post. The Stan put up a good performance and fight against their first division hosts. As bonfire night approaches, hopefully the sky will be lit up again by the Stan’s next league performance at Team Northumbria on Saturday.
Stan Team: Backhouse; Stoddart; Axon; Wear; Scott, P; Waite (Imray); Hoggins (Dixon); Johnson, L; Wright; Yates (Rowntree); Carrasquillo. Subs unused: Ray; Bailey.