Ashington take the points in tense derby

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Morpeth Town 2-3 Ashington

Morpeth Town and Hereford will grace the hallowed Wembley turf on Sunday week (May 22), when they contest the final of the FA Vase.

At Craik Park on Saturday and in an explosive opening, the first two goals of the five would not have looked out of place at the home of football in what developed into an entertaining spectacle.

In the corresponding game at Woodhorn Lane in mid September, Morpeth’s Sean Taylor was outstanding as he scored a hat-trick in his sides 3-1 victory.

Last weekend, Taylor was at it again. He netted both of Morpeth’s goals – the first after only 91 seconds was extra special as he curled a superb effort from the edge of the penalty area wide of the outstretched arms of ‘keeper Conor Grant.

But in the ninth minute, Ashington skipper Andrew Johnson arguably topped Taylor’s stunning strike with a beauty of his own. He picked up possession from a headed clearance, chested the ball down then executed an exquisite right footed lob from 25 yards which sailed over advanced ‘keeper Niall Harrison.

Steven Anderson had a goal disallowed for offside and the home side had two penalty appeals for handball turned down.

Three minutes into the second half, the Colliers went in front with Matty Grieve heading in from a corner.

Morpeth hit back and the equaliser arrived in the 56th minute when taylor side-footed home after the ball had hit the bar.

The final quarter of an hour saw thrills and spills. For Morpeth Anderson fired over; substitute Lee McAndrew delayed his shot and was blocked; Grieve deflected a shot from Fry and Sean Taylor came close to another hat trick but his right foot screamer narrowly cleared the bar.

What proved to be the winner came in the 86th minute after Ashington had forced a corner on the left. Gunn swung it over to the near post where Taylor planted a firm header into the net.