Title-chasing Ashington moved joint-top of the pack, as the ten men of Redcar were comfortably beaten at Green Lane.
A lone mistake befell the Steelmen in a fairly even first half, as Dan Maguire capitalised on Jack Norton’s loose ball to open the scoring.
Reece Kenney’s dismissal tipped the game in the visitors favour after the restart, with Darren Lough and Lee Mason netting late on to bring Athletic’s four game winning streak to a close.
From the moment the referee’s whistle sounded, Ashington’s quality was on display. A physical side, the Northumbrian outfit certainly made their presence felt in midfield, and looked threatening on every attack.
Despite their offensive prowess, it was a Jack Norton mistake which gifted the Colliers their ninth minute opener. A loose pass from the shot-stopper found it’s way out to Dan Maguire, who had the space and time to pick his spot with ease.
Craig Hutchinson almost produced an instant response for Redcar, as he rose highest to meet an inviting delivery from Joe Thompson, but couldn’t direct his headed effort on target.
Athletic boasted the lion’s share of possession after going behind, but made little from it. Anthony Bell came the closest, bending his attempt into the advertising hoardings, whilst another Hutchinson effort from distance met the same fate.
A siege on Redcar’s area on the half hour mark proved a reminder that the Colliers were still dangerous, as Maguire and Briggs were only kept at bay after desperate lunges from McNeill and Guru.
The Steelmen still looked the brighter as the teams emerged after the break, with Craig Hutchinson looking to catch Dryden out with an early, speculative effort, which flew astray.
Reece Kenney was next to have a crack at goal, the midfielder dragged a shot wide to the left after Thompson’s low cross was cleared into his path.
Athletic’s second decisive error came just eight minutes into the half, as a foul from Kenney saw the midfielder given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Ashington regained the initiative after the dismissal, almost capitalising straight away as both Maguire and Cartwright flashed attempts wide.
Whilst on the back foot, Redcar had their best opportunity to draw level, as Karl Dryden failed to hold a low drive from Craig Hutchinson, but reacted quickly to deny Holdsworth’s point-blanc follow up.
With pressure mounting, the Steelmen’s resistance finally broke in the 74th minute, as Darren Lough’s header back across goal deceived Jack Norton, and gave the Colliers their deserved second.
The affair was wrapped up with five minutes to go, as substitute Lee Mason applied the finish to a good footballing move at the back post, to signal the end of Redcar’s purple patch.
|18/03/2023||3:00 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2022/23|