SOUTH Shields went down 1-0 to Ashington at Filtrona Park on Saturday, although boss Jon King will have been disappointed to come away without at least a point following a spirited performance.
Ashington had the ball in the back of the net within the first 10 minutes, but O’Dea was ruled to be offside by the assistant referee and the score remained goalless.
The home side began to put some pressure on the Ashington defence and the front pairing of Jonny Wightman and Stephen Ramsey were looking lively, but Wightman’s game was to be cut short on 25 minutes going down under a challenge and being replaced by Simon Fitzpatrick.
The visitors scored soon after when a misplaced pass by Matt Soulsby fell to an Ashington player, a good ball followed from the right and Marc Walton was on the end of it to strike past Jonny Ball in the Shields goal.
Denver Morris was proving to be Shields most threatening player with his pace down the right hand side of midfield and it was his cross that created an opportunity for amsey on 38 minutes, but the Shields number nine was unable to get the ball under control.
On 42 minutes, a through ball by skipper Andrew Barclay found Morris, who again lost his man turned inside and unleashed a left foot strike at goal, this time the effort was high and wide of the target.
Shields continued to dominate into the second half, searching for the all important equaliser they deserved.
On 56 minutes, defender Lee Bell had an attempt from 12 yards that was marginally over the bar.
Two minutes later, a fine cross from Soulsby found the head of Morris but he was denied by a great save. The resulting corner found Fitzpatrick, who hit a low strike from 10 yard’s but the ball was cleared off the line by the Ashington defence.
The pressure continued as Soulsby and Ramsey both went close to an equaliser, but as the half continued to bring no joy to the Mariners, boss Jon King rang the changes with the experienced Justin Perry and Chris Feasey replacing Gilberto Chapim and Stephen Ramsey.
Justin Perry aimed to make an immediate impact with a strike from 25 yards, but it was safely into the keepers hands.
As Shields continued to throw men forward in search of an equaliser, this allowed Ashington to counter attack and with the clock ticking down a long ball downfield allowed Walton to go one on one with Ball in the Shields goal, but he put his attempt wide of the goal.
Despite the home side’s dominance in the second half the scoreline remained the same. Next up for Jon Kings side is a trip to Penrith on Tuesday evening.