Stocksbridge Park Steels fell to their third defeat in a row after a loss to Ashington.
The Steels had a mountain to climb pretty quickly. Oliver Thompson caused problems down the right wing before driving into the box. He whipped a dangerous ball in that was impossible to defend and it found Charlie Exley at the far post who had the simple job of nodding it in. It was just eight minutes gone but the Steels were behind. The Steels could have been 2-0 behind minutes after but Wilson Kneeshaw was prevented with a good save from Henry Hampshaw when he has gone clear.
Stocksbridge did establish themselves back into the game and would eventually get the equaliser. Jack Watson broke into the box and he became the victim of a mistimed sliding tackle. The referee pointed to the spot and Luke Rawson stepped up to send Karl Dryden the wrong way, scoring his 5th of the season. Stocksbridge pressed to take the lead before the end of the half with Ify Ofoegbu getting past the goalkeeper once but not being able to finish from a narrow angle.
In the second half, Stocksbridge were having a lot of success pressing the Ashington defence, winning the ball high up and causing problems for the Colliers defence. One big chance came with one of the balls won high up that was then laid off for Watson. He didn’t hit the ball cleanly but it curled onto the post, bounced across the line and some how it didn’t end up in.
And then when Stocksbridge on top, the sucker punch would happen. Ashington sent a long ball into the right spot and Mason Hardy, who had come on as a first half substitute for an injured Dan McGuire, beat his man to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The striker was able to sneak his finish in between Hampshaw and near post to give Ashington the lead.
Stocksbridge took a while to get back to their player after conceding but by then, Ashington had got a new game plan and were able to hold off the attacks the Steels were able to throw at them. Their chances for the rest of the game were limited and Stocksbridge fell to their third defeat in a row.