Ashington 0 North Shields 1 (05/01/2019) – Fifth win on the bounce as Robins defeat Ashington

A second half goal from Gary Day was enough to help the Robins maintain their winning streak at the expense of a dogged Ashington side.

Despite dominating the game early on, the Robins found it difficult to break through a resolute Colliers defence.

Things were made worse when in-form striker Callum Johnston was substituted at half time with an ankle injury.

However, his replacement made an instant impact when he converted from close range shortly after the restart.

And despite some late pressure for the hosts, they held on for a well-deserved victory.

In an attempt to win their fifth game in a row, Shields started brightly and after only two minutes, a great run from Jordan Summerly allowed for the fullback to set up Ryan Carr, however, his effort was put behind for a corner.

Summerly was continuing his fine form from last weekend and in the seventh minute, he linked up well with Paul Robinson, only to see the ball eventually cleared by the Ashington skipper.

Having returned to the side after a spell with Heaton Stannington, Jack Cooper was given the start today. As the game entered the 15th minute, the young midfielder delivered a beautiful ball for Sean McRoberts who himself delivered a ball into the box, however, Ashington shot-stopper Conor Grant rose well to claim it.

Four minutes later, a great run and cut back from Craig Spooner, who was filling in at fullback for Jack Donnison, set up Johnston but the former Gateshead striker fired over the crossbar.

Spooner seemed in the mood today and in the 22nd minute, his pin-point cross found Carr in the box, but Grant was on hand to collect the striker’s headed effort.

The hosts were really struggling to deal with the intensity on offer from the Robins. In the 30th minute, some scintillating play from McRoberts found Johnston in the box once again, only for Grant to parry the ball away from goal. Carr was on hand to try his luck from the rebound, however, his effort flew wide of the upright.

As the game crept towards half time, the Colliers were starting to enjoy more of the ball and in the 39th minute, a freekick taken by Zak Atkinson from just outside the area zipped over the crossbar.

The second half started much like how the first did and after Kevin Hughes picked up a yellow card for a foul, the deadlock was finally broken. Day, who had come on after the break, worked his way into the penalty area before calmly passing the ball beyond Grant and into the back of the net.

After the referee waived away strong claims from the Robins for a penalty, Ashington started to work up a head of steam. With the game entering the 67th minute, Wayne Buchanan rose highest to head a corner towards the goal, however, his effort seemed to bounce off the line before it was cleared to safety.

Only moments later, Mark McManus was the hero for the Robins as he was on hand to brilliantly clear another effort from a set piece off the line.

With the travelling support vociferously backing the boys in red, the Robins were dealing with everything that was coming their way.

And with the Colliers throwing everything they had at the Robins goal, they were almost caught out when McRoberts broke away before threading a ball through to Spooner. Unfortunately, he missed the chance to put the game to bed when his effort was fired over.

Thankfully for the Robins, Ashington were never able to break through the Robins defensive line and before long, the referee brought the game to an end.

Final Score: Ashington 0 North Shields 1

Attendance: 214

Ashington Starting Eleven: Conor Grant, Jake Turnbull, Aidan Hutchinson (Jake Cunningham 52), Shaun Henderson (Tony Stephenson 81), Glenn Caygill, Wayne Buchanan, Lee McAndrew, Karl Ross, Zak Atkinson, Steven Bowey (Christopher Youldon 62), Jack Butler

Yellow Cards: Shaun Henderson 10, Karl Ross 54

Unused Substitutes: Matthew Smith, Jamie Hanson

North Shields Starting Eleven: Greg Purvis, Craig Spooner, Jordan Summerly, David Hall, Mark McManus, Kevin Hughes, Shaun McRoberts, Jack Cooper (Gary Ormston 73), Callum Johnston (Gary Day 45), Ryan Carr, Paul Robinson (Josh Skivington 90)

Yellow Cards: Jack Cooper 43, Kevin Hughes 50

Unused Substitutes: Cameron Cunningham, Chris McDonald