West Auckland Town 3-0 Ashington A.F.C
Goals from Amar Purewal and Thomas Price stretched West Auckland Town’s unbeaten run in all competitions to seven matches with a routine victory over Ashington.
Captain Purewal opened the scoring on eight minutes before grabbing his 24th league goal of the season nine minutes after the restart via a deflection.
Price assured West of a third win in five matches with a clinical finish on 73 minutes as Ian Skinner’s side remain in 16th in the Northern League Division One table and without a win away from home since January.
The result sees West climb up to eighth, leapfrogging North Shields on 52 points heading into the final game of the season.
Gary Forrest made three changes from Wednesday evening’s derby draw with Liam Hegarty, Lewis Dodds and Anthony Bell replaced by Denver Morris, Adam Burnicle and Tom Price.
It took just eight minutes for West to take the lead as Morris’cross from the right was whipped in towards the back-post for Burnicle to head it across goal, allowing Purewal to nod infrom close-range.
On 16 minutes, Purewal almost extended West’s lead as he flicked Adam Mitchell’s delivery against the post as Skinner’s side struggled to gather any momentum.
Forrest’s side continued to up their tempo as Price’s 40-yard pass found Alex Francis, who was through on goal but unable to add to the scoresheet as his right-footed shot came off the inside off the left-hand post and cleared out of harm’s way.
Despite controlling proceedings, West had a slight scare moments before half-time when a curling free-kick from Kyle Downey nearly trickled into the bottom corner though Shane Bland was equal to it and pushed it to safety.
Purewal grabbed his second of the afternoon on 54 minutes after his deflected shot inside the 18-yard box nestled into the right-hand corner to give West a two-goal cushion.
Samuel Perez – older brother of Newcastle United’s Ayoze – posed a threat with his fancy footwork however in the final third, Ashington lacked any creativity as they rarely threatened Bland’s goal.
On 73 minutes, Forrest’s side sealed victory following some good perseverance from Nathan Fisher, who chased down what looked like a loose ball before squaring to Price to fire in 12-yards out, leaving Conor Grant rooted to the spot -rounding off an impressive display.
Next up for West is their final league game of the season against Stockton Town at the Wanted Stadium on Saturday April 13 (15:00).
West Auckland – Bland, Mitchell, Price, Cobain, Colquhoun, Portas, Morris, Snaith (Dodds, 80), Burnicle (Fisher, 60), Francis, Purewal (c)
Subs not used – Dowson, Connor, Coulson
Goals – Purewal (8, 54), Price (73)
Ashington – Grant, Kaltingher, Hornsby, Henderson, Hutchinson, Coppen, Sampson (Rowlandson, 80), Ross, North (Guilherme, 80), Perez (Robson, 67), Downey
Subs not used – Bell, Turnbull,
Referee – Jonny Urwin
Attendance – 163
Report by Harry Crowe