Stephenson header secures three points for West Allotment Celtic against Ashington
By Luke Vinton (@LukeVinton_)
West Allotment Celtic claimed their second home league win of the season, after beating Ashington 1-0 through a header from Tony Stephenson.
Stephenson’s match-winning header was the difference for Allotment, heading home in the 23rd minute after an accurate cross from winger Kallum McGlen.
Allotment’s defence and goalkeeper Chris Bannon were put through their paces on a wet and windy night, but defended bravely throughout the 90 minutes to claim three valuable points.
After a disappointing home defeat against Sunderland RCA at the weekend, West Allotment were seeking much needed points in continuing their fight for survival against an Ashington side who suffered a late defeat against league leaders North Shields.
The away side started brightly in miserable conditions, with Ashington’s Luke Salmon testing Allotment goalkeeper Chris Bannon.
After being played through, Salmon could only fire his strike straight at the body of Bannon, before the ball was cleared from danger.
The home side took the lead after McGlen curled in a delightful cross towards the head to Stephenson, who connected with the ball to power the ball past Ashington goalkeeper Conor Grant and into the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Allotment had a key chance to double their lead before half-time through McGlen. After rounding Grant, McGlen could not get a good connection with the ball as he slipped before skewing the ball wide of the target.
As the rain continued to put down in the second half, Bannon was forced into making a tremendous save from Ben Richardson’s long range strike, tipping the deflected strike onto the crossbar.
Ashington, managed by ex-England cricketer Steve Harmsion, kept pushing for an equaliser and missed a glorious chance through ex-Allotment player Dale Pearson.
After a dangerous ball was played across the six-yard area, Pearson launched himself at the ball but could not get a good connection with his foot and could only direct the ball towards the hands of Bannon.
Ben Harmison also missed a great chance after steering his header wide of the post. After using his height to his advantage, the target man was unable to direct the ball into the net.
Pearson missed another opportunity in the dying members of the match as his shot produced another good save by Bannon.
After a clever move with Harmison, Pearson fired a fierce strike towards the bottom corner which forced Bannon to parry the ball away with a strong hand.
West Allotment Celtic will face last year’s FA Vase winners Morpeth Town in their next league fixture on Saturday, March 11.