Colliers oust Citizens at New Ferens
Colliers finish the season with another win
New Ferens Park – Saturday 18 April 2015
Northern League First Division
Durham City – Jordan Harkess, Reece Noble, Nicky Allan, Ross Wilkinson, Arjun Purewal ( C ), Lewis Gibbons, Jonny Davis, Callum Patton (Callum Hope), Ryan Noble, Walid Abeid (Nathan Lawrence), Kyle Fryatt (Callum Munroe)
Ashington – Connor Grant, Lance McGlen, Ben Christensen, Brad Brooking (James Harmison), Craig Smith (Jonathon Giles), Wayne Buchanan, Kyle Oliver, Kyle Downey, Tony Stephenson (Paul Dunn), Glen Taylor, Andrew Johnson ( C )
Stephen Harmison’s Colliers finished their Northern League campaign with a hard-fought 2-0 win on the road at Durham City.
As the game ebbed and flowed neither side would take a firm hold, both sides having good, and bad, spells throughout.
However, for all the chances it was surprising there was just two goals.
Ashington started off the strongest firing in early chances via Kyle Oliver and Glen Taylor, Harmison’s men finishing the season in mid-table.
For all the pressure, the niggling attacks, the attempts on goal, there was no way past Jordan Harkess in the Citizens net and, for every attempt the Colliers had the home side retaliated and supplied several of their own, peppering Connor Grant, often from distance.
The home side had their first real attempt after ten minutes when ex-Sunderland man, Ryan Noble, fired wide from the edge of the box. He would go on to have a number of missed opportunities during the course of the game.
Midway through the half, and following treatment to Taylor, the Colliers midfield triumvirate of Oliver, Downey and Stephenson made a mockery of the Durham defence but again it failed to produce anything.
After Brad Brooking fired over for Ashington a forage up the right by Durham resulted in Callum Patton heading over.
What with the bar and headed opportunities Durham would have ended the half comfortably, as it happened though Ashington continued to test resolves and, shortly before the interval, Durham’s rock of a captain, Arjun Purewal, found himself on the receiving end of a referee yellow.
With no changes at the interval the second started in much the same vein as the first had progressed, Ashington in the ascendency and Durham both holding their own and continuously applying wave upon wave of counters.
Noble and Patton were a constant thorn to the Collier defence but with the visiting defenders trying their luck, and the home side occasionally at sixes and sevens, it wasn’t to be for Chandler’s me.
As the game passed into the final quarter both sides started making their respective substitutions and, after Taylor had tried his luck from distance, shooting wide, the Colliers led.
Having been on the field a matter of minutes Colliers substitute Jonathon Giles reacted first and fast to send a vociferous support delirious with the opening salvo. Those same fans that had sang, chanted and applauded Harmison’s Colliers on for pretty all of the ninety minutes.
Durham though still had something in them, they refused to let wasted chances go begging and continued to push for goal. Patton again and again being the main source of attention in the Colliers box.
As the game ticked towards the ninety though Ashington doubled their lead and Harmison was home and dry. An excellent through-ball from the ever-industrious Colliers captain, Andrew Johnson found its way through to the back post and Kyle Oliver was not going to make a mistake.
With Noble flashing a shot off Grant’s crossbar from a last-gasp Durham attack in the last minute the game fizzed out, both sides safe in the knowledge of a mid-table ending to what, ultimately, has been an indifferent season in both camps.
Afterwards Colliers manager Stephen Harmison, who arrived at the club in early February following six defeats on the spin was optimistic of the challenge ahead.
“It wasn’t a bad game for the end of the season,” began Harmison.
“There was quite a few chances for both sides and we both gave it a go. We definitely had some good opportunities although we did make a few mistakes as well. I do feel as though our quality going forward though won it for us.”
Since Harmison arrived at the club, bringing in Ian Skinner and Ashington legend Lee Anderson, an upturn in fortunes has been witnessed – and the Colliers faithful have been coming out in their droves to witness the rising.
Twelve victories and nine clean sheets in fifteen has shown the former Ashes legend that what he has is something else adding: “I’ve not done anything but give the players and fans belief since I came in.
“It’s all been about them and they have performed, done the best of their abilities. There’s definite quality in there and the games we have won has been down to them, the clean sheets are testament to that fact.”
Moving forward the Colliers boss is looking forward to a summer of cricket, joining in the celebrations of a decade since England won the Ashes in 2005 and watching the ongoing progress of Durham CCC but with Ashington he said: “I will look at a couple of fresh faces but want to keep the momentum going.
“The national competitions are difficult to traverse when you start in the early qualifying rounds but I hope that North Shields can win the Vase this season as it’s a fantastic club and it will be unbelievable not only for the league but for the area.
“As for Ashington I want us to keep improving and be the best that we can be. There’s a fantastic group of people here in what is a good environment and a great fan base.
“I didn’t bring the noise, they were already here, I inherited that and I am proud to be a part of it – I wouldn’t swap it for anything.”
Interview with Durham manager, Ian Chandler, due tomorrow…..
Posted on 18/04/2015, in Football, Non-League and tagged Ashes Cricket, Ashington, Citizens, Colliers, Durham CCC, Durham City, FA Vase, Ian Chandler, New Ferens Park, Non-League, North East Football, North Shields, Northern League, Stephen Harmison. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.