MORPETH TOWN 3, ASHTON UNITED 1
Ashton United’s second visit in a week to the North East produced a similar result as they were well beaten on the plastic pitch at Morpeth Town’s Craik Park.
It was a second loss of the league season – they had lost 3-0 at Ashington seven days earlier in the Emirates FA Cup – as they slipped to sixth in Northern Premier League, premier division, having at one stage been second in the table.
Following a perfectly observed minute’s silence in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, the hosts bookended the first half with a goal in the first minute and a second in the 45th.
They could have hardly made a quicker start as Jack Foalle’s far post finish into the roof of the net followed Ross Ramsey’s deep left wing cross.
Chris Reid was soon testing Ashton goalkeeper Greg Hartley again with a raking effort after Connor Pani had been afforded too much space and Pani then drove an effort wide after a misplaced pass from Sam Sheridan.
Ramsey was again a threat with his pullback intended for Pani cut out by Sheridan and at the other end Jack Kenny sent a curling effort too high after turning on to a loose ball and then forced a near post save out from home goalkeeper Dan Lowson after James Baillie picked up possession.
Two minutes before the break, Pani turned on the edge of the area and curled a superb left foot effort against the post with Hartley a spectator, but there was to be no escape for the Robins as Reid then headed home Ben Sayer’s corner from inside the six-yard box.
The second period opened with Callum Saunders firing Baillie’s right wing cross over, but it wasn’t long before the hosts extended their lead as Pani’s leg work saw Ramsey present centre forward Dale Pearson with a tap in.
And it might have been four as a great run from full back Ryan Wombwell ended with a shot into the side netting.
With 10 minutes left, Kenny headed over a cross from captain Matt Regan following a decent pass from Ben Hardcastle, but the visitors did get their consolation three minutes from time as Sam Baird provided a fine left foot finish into the top corner from Max Harrop’s delivery after Hardcastle had been fouled out wide.
Ashton United: Hartley, Baillie, Warren, Baird, Regan, Battersby (Harrop 58), Hough (Hardcastle 46), Sheridan, Kenny, Saunders (Brewster 58), Robbins. Subs (not used): Coates, Lonsdale.
Report: David Robinson.