Shields sunk by hat-trick hero

editorial image

Ashington 4-0 North Shields

A hattrick from winger Tony Stephenson helped Ashington on their way to a 4-0 win against North Shields at Woodhorn Lane.

Stephenson fired the hosts in to an early lead and added a second before the break. Stephenson then completed his hat-trick early in the second half before Damien Stevens added a fourth.

North Shields would have been hoping to extend a run of two games unbeaten and could have been in front within minutes. Joe Robson saw a shot blocked but won it back and fired an effort from just outside the box which Glasper did well to keep out.

Ashington took the lead moments later when a cross from the right found Stephenson in acres of space, who fired a low effort past Sean McCafferty after eight minutes.

Shields were struggling to create anything going forwards and Ashington thought they’d doubled their lead with Stevens firing past McCafferty in to the bottom corner but the whistle had gone for a foul on Kurtis Dodds.

Ashington did double their lead moments later though when a throw in wasn’t dealt with and was flicked in to the box to Stephenson who nodded home from close range.

The Ashington keeper had barely been tested in the first half but did have a save to make just before half time with a header from Bainbridge.

Ashington started the second half brightly but in a rare Shields attack Bainbridge had the chance to reduce the deficit, his first shot was blocked but the ball fell perfectly for him to convert the rebound but his effort dragged wide.

Shields were starting to look dangerous for the first time in the match and Ben Richardson came close to scoring, but Glasper turned his effort round the post.

Ashington pressed with Robson dwelling on the ball and forced a short backpass to McCafferty who miss-kicked on a bobbly field and the ball fell to Stephenson who ran the ball to the net to complete his treble.

Ashington made it four moments later, a long ball forward was flicked on to Stevens who worked his way in to the box and fired past McCafferty.

Neither team really created much in the final stages of the game with a wild effort from Richardson the only real chance.