Northern League

ASHINGTON 4 WHICKHAM 0, HIRST WELFARE

Ashington got back into form as they ran out easy 4-0 winners over Whickham. Ashington had been totally out of form and the pressure was on before kick off against a side managed by Steve Bowey (still playing in his late fourties) and led up front by Zak Atkinson both who used to be at Ashington .

It was however someone who spent a lot of years at Whickham, Max Cowburn, who made an instant impact as Ashington blew Whickham away with three goals in the first 25 minutes. Cowburn opened the scoring on 8 minutes with a spectacular swerving drive from 20 yards then doubled his tally after a defence splitting pass from Anderson.

Karl Ross finished off a flowing move to make it three on 24 minutes and Ashington looked like scoring every time they went forward at this stage. The 4th arrived in first half injury time as David Luke finished clinically and all the worries after a terrible midweek performance had been put to bed.

This was the second time this season the colliers had went in at half time 4-0 up. The game, even by Ashington’s high standards of implosion, was over and the second half was a non-event really, played at walking pace at times.

It was a strange game of football as Whickham had loads of possession and a few chances but Ashington were as clinical as could be, scoring with every chance they had, really. Whickham will be massively disappointed but played ok in spells but were never in the game after that opening spell when they were carved apart by an Ashington side ravaged by injury .

The crowd around 400 at a guess on a dull Northumbrian day and almost all of them went home happy .

SCOTT ROBSON 

FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round 4 Sep 2021

DUNSTON 1 MARINE 2 

Yours truly had been torn between a trip to Birtley or Benfield but in the end a text on Saturday morning from a well-turned out gentleman and regular imbiber at The Forth Hotel, Pink Lane, Newcastle Upon Tyne spoke of the pleasures to be had on the Geordie left-bank at Dunston so with a Gallowgate End shooting party assembling it was off we went.

A reasonable £7 entry and a pint in the club house chatting to a Scouse exile and estranged Liverpool fan who was now alienated by Fenway Sports Group, the Premier League et al was a very pleasant way to put in three quarters of an hour before we agreed Rafa Benitez is a superb human being and manager as we took our pews in the main stand. Brilliant views.

We were treated to a really good contest played on a very nice surface (Scott – they seem to keep a great surface at Dunston). As you’d expect in a match competing for progression to the next qualifying round of the world’s oldest cup competition, there was a great intensity to the game, lots of crunching tackles and the ball moved around well and most players having a decent touch, strength and fitness. I felt Marine were on top for a big chunk of the first half, certainly that was my intuition from the possession and passage of play, though they hadn’t created much really when on the stroke of half-time, the home side took the lead.  It had been a nicely worked move down the right at pace and finished well.

We repaired to the club house in good mood after I’d clocked I am already the proud owner of a Dunston pin badge in the same style on sale in the club shop so decided against having a doubler.

Dunston started the second half brightly and our party felt it was going to be the Blues day if they could manage that second goal. Sadly, it didn’t come and Marine gradually recovered control.

It wasn’t much of a surprise when the visitors equalised and then later notched the winner in the dying minutes. The dozen or so travelling Marine fans were happy so a decent trip home for them as we slunk away planning similar sojourns in the week – we may get to Birtley on Wednesday night.

Dunston’s match report is here complete with some deliberate errors. Insert smiley face here.

MICHAEL MARTIN