Whitley leave it late for a point
Whitley Bay 2-2 Ashington
Kyle Patton’s equaliser four minutes into added time gave Whitley a well deserved point from a game they might have won convincingly on their first half display but looked like losing after a complete turnaround in fortunes after the interval.
The opening exchanges were evenly contested, but there was an element of luck about the opening goal after 30 minutes when Alex Kempster took the ball down the left before putting a low cross into the goalmouth. Robertson and defender Strafford both attempted to make contact but the ball eluded everyone and flew past Grant into the far corner of the net.
If there was an element of fortune about the goal there was no doubt that Whitley thoroughly deserved their lead and having got their noses in front they dominated the remainder of the half.
Despite their dominance, Whitley had only a slender one goal advantage at the break and in a devastating change of fortunes, the visitors gained the upper hand within ten minutes of the resumption.
There seemed little danger to the Bay goal when Luke Salmon attempted a shot on target from 15 yards but when the ball rebounded back into his path the Ashington defender’s second attempt flew beyond Flynn into the far top corner to level the score just three minutes after the restart.
Unsettled by the equaliser, Whitley looked anxious and lost their defensive discipline, allowing a pass from Pearson to reach Harmison who broke away down the left wing unchallenged and his cross into the box was turned home from close range by the unmarked Lee McAndrew, handing the Colliers a 55th minute lead.
In pouring rain Whitley gradually worked their way back into the game and within three minutes of coming off the bench, Matty Cornish struck the top of the bar from 18 yards. The equaliser came in the fourth minute of added time when substitute Kyle Patton bravely got his head to the ball, flicked on from a free kick,forcing it over the line and into the net.