Ashington never recover from conceding three early goals to Morpeth

Ashington's Ryan McGorrigan. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington's Ryan McGorrigan. Picture by Ian Appleby
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Three goals in the opening 12 minutes put Morpeth on the road to a convincing 5-1 victory over neighbours Ashington at Craik Park on Monday night.

The corresponding fixture at Woodhorn Lane on August Bank Holiday Monday had seen the Highwaymen claw their way back to claim a share of the spoils with a late penalty in a 1-1 draw – but Monday night’s clash was effectively all over just 12 minutes in.

Morpeth struck in the fifth and eighth minutes from almost identical corners taken by Ben Sayer on the left with Mark Davison heading in the opener then Chris Reid nodding home the second.

And it was Sayer who was the provider of the third, sliding the ball through for Liam Henderson who coolly rounded keeper Conor Grant before netting from a narrow angle.

For Ashington, Ben Sampson had an effort blocked after receiving from Lee McAndrew and it was the former who latched onto a cross from the right by Shaun Henderson but lofted his effort over from the edge of the area.

In the 34th minute Morpeth added a fourth from the spot. Sampson was penalised for a push on Henderson and Keith Graydon made no mistake, sending Grant the wrong way.

However, two minutes later the Colliers cut back the deficit when Dale Pearson and Ben Harmison combined to set up Ryan McGorrigan who rifled home an unstoppable left footer into the roof of the net from eight yards.

The Colliers had penalty shouts turned down as Ben Harmison went to ground inside the area, then play switched to the other end and Sayer missed a sitter, shooting wide after Grant had blocked a long range drive from Henderson.

Right on the stroke of half-time, the visitors came close to a second. Henderson again swung the ball over from the right and when McAndrew clipped it back into the middle, Pearson glanced a header wide.

Two minutes after the resumption, Sean Taylor lashed over after a free kick from Sayer had only been half cleared, and it was from another restart on 75 minutes when home keeper Karl Dryden pushed away a low effort from Paul Antony.

Grant made a double save to deny Henderson and substitute Mark Doninger, then after Dryden had palmed a Ben Harmison effort aside, Morpeth went nap.

Five minutes remained when Doninger picked up a misplaced pass from McAndrew and laid the ball on a plate for Davison who side footed into the corner from six yards.

On Saturday Ashington are away to Marske United, kick-off 3pm.

Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster, Turner, Sayer (Doninger 68), Grieve, Reid, Taylor (Anderson 76), Graydon (Robinson 61), Davison, L Henderson, Walton. Substitues not used: Morris, Novak.

Ashington: Grant, S Henderson, Christensen (Salmon 75), Antony (Downey 81), R Bell, Buchanan, Sampson, McGorrigan, Pearson, B Harmison, McAndrew. Substitutes not used: Tiffoney, J Harmison, Hall.

Attendance: 353.