Town lose derby encounter

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Morpeth Town 0 Ashington 3 Ebac Northern League, Division One

MORPETH paid the penalty in more ways than one for poor finishing in last night’s game against one of their local rivals, writes Brian Bennett.

Ashington started brightly and went ahead in the eighth minute.

Norris tracked back to win the ball and found Glen Taylor, who was clipped in the area by Jordan Fry, with referee Shaun Hudson immediately pointing to the spot.

Walton smacked a firmly struck effort against the base of the post and when the rebound fell into the path of Taylor, he made no mistake with a left footer into the far corner of the net.

Three minutes later the Colliers could so easily have doubled their advantage.

Walton glanced on from Norris to Oliver and his cross was met by Briggs, who sent a flying header narrowly wide of the upright.

Morpeth’s first real threat came midway through the period, but Steven Anderson’s effort was easily held by keeper Dryden.

Nevertheless, the home side, with Stephen Forster prominent down the flank, continued to make inroads with Sean Taylor firing over on two occasions, Andrew Keenan driving off target and Dryden again foiling Anderson.

However, five minutes into the second period Ashington got a vital second goal – from the trusty right foot of Glen Taylor.

The striker latched onto a throughball from skipper Johnson, who had received from Walton, and he gave keeper Steven Mundy no chance with a rasping effort from the right hand side of the penalty area.

On the hour, Anderson had a marvellous opening as Ashington were caught on the counter, but Dryden came to his side’s rescue, blocking well at the near post.

Then in the 65th minute Ashington added a third from another penalty award – with the home side reduced to ten men as David Hiftle received his marching orders. Walton calmly slotted home from the spot.

The Highway Men kept going and Dryden was forced to palm away a header from substitute Michael Fenwick, then at the other end Johnson found sub Carson, who tried to curl the ball around Mundy but was off target.

The final piece of action came in the dying minutes when Walton got on the end of a Scott free kick, but saw his effort saved by the legs of Mundy.