Match Reports

Steels 2-2 Ashington

Stocksbridge Park Steels will need a replay to get past Ashington after drawing 2-2 in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

The Steels got the opening goal when Ross Goodwin’s diving header beat the goalkeeper. Ashington instantly equalised with Lee Mason finishing at the far post. They would then take the lead with Ben Harmison finishing at the far post after a well done free kick. Stocksbridge would get the replay after Mitch Langton finished following a scramble in the box.

Stocksbridge could have been ahead within a minute. The Steels earned a corner almost instantly, and this gave Tomas Poole the chance to whip a ball in. He duly did exactly that and found Goodwin, who forced a very impressive save from Karl Dryden.

After this initial chance, Ashington were able to take charge of the game and looked to get the lead. The best chance was when Robbie Dale cut inside the box and forced an acrobatic save from Harrison Davison-Hale. Dan Maguire went clear in the box but his delay in the box allowed the Stocksbridge defence to get back and get the ball away. What enraged the large amount of travelling fans were the two handball calls not given their away that could have led to penalties for the away side.

After managing to withstand the pressure, Stocksbridge used their breaks well to create opportunities. One lead to a corner which again almost went in only for Lee Mason to clear it from the line. The Steels also earned a free kick but unfortunately Poole couldn’t keep it on target and it went over. In the end despite all the chances for both sides, the first half would end goalless.

The second half would start with Ashington have some chances. Dean Briggs, a constant presence down the left for Ashington, curled a shot just over the bar. Not long after that, Mason was able to fire a shot off but Davison-Hale was equal to it.

Stocksbridge would open the scoring. Poole was working hard on the left wing and got himself enough space to put a quality ball into the box. Goodwin was hovering at the far post and flew like a bird as he connected with a diving header which left Dryden with no chance of saving it.

Unfortunately, it was level just moments later. Stocksbridge fell asleep at the back and Ashington got down the left hand side before whipping a ball in. Mason was waiting unmarked at the far post and was able to smash the ball into the back of the net.

While Stocksbridge almost got right back in the lead with Luke Rawson being inches away from connected with a great cross from the right wing, Ashington would be the next goalscorers. Daniel Briggs sent in a free kick from distance and Harmison beat his man to knock it on the far post.

Stocksbridge threw everything at Ashington as they looked for an equaliser. They came very close as well when after a corner was initially cleared, it fell to Alex O’Connor who listened to the crowd urging him to shoot and drilled the volley onto the post.

Ashington will look back on their big chance towards the end with regret. Maguire beat the offside trap and with Davison-Hale rushing out, he went for the lob. The ball seemed to hang in the air for ages before it dropped down onto the bar and went out of play.

Stocksbridge took that as an opportunity and would get the equaliser. Poole’s corner caused havoc in the box and it would eventually fall to Langton who managed to finish it into the bottom corner and send the home fans into rapture. While both teams would press on to look for the winner, neither team created an opportunity and there will now be a replay at Ashington on Tuesday night.

MOTM: Kurtis Turner


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