Ashington v Sunderland RCA, Tuesday 16th August 2022, 7.30pm

The Northern League season is well underway now and with Ashington having won their opening four games to top the table I thought I’d head through the Tyne Tunnel to take in their fixture with Sunderland RCA. It was eight quid admission to the Woodhorn Lane ground with another pound-fifty for a programme.

There’s a large covered seated stand down one side, with a smaller one opposite. A burger van was parked behind one of the goals and as I hadn’t eaten before I set off, I paid it a visit. Chips were still fifteen minutes from being ready, so I settled for a cheeseburger. I was a little surprised to be charged fifty pence extra for adding onions to it, but I suppose it means that those who don’t like onions don’t have to subsidise those of us that do. Maybe they should apply the same logic to ketchup. Or sugar in tea.

Ashington were in a white shirt with a black V, whilst mid-table RCA were in blue. The visitors took the lead early on with a finish that I missed as I was making my way up the steps into the main stand. Ashington had most of the play in the remainder of the first half, but lacked patience in the final third and often just pumped the ball aimlessly into the box.

I went into the clubhouse at half-time, to get a coke and a warm. The temperature outside was colder than I’d expected, and I should have worn an additional layer or two. I stayed there for the remainder of the game, watching through the windows and by careful positioning also keeping an eye on the Rangers v PSV match on the television via the reflection in the glass that appeared to float above the real game.

Ashington pressed forward throughout the second half and with around ten minutes remaining the body language of some of the home players suggested that they felt it wasn’t to be their day. However, a cutback cross from the right was swept home to level and then in the third minute of added time a ball in from the left was met with a downward header that gave the keeper no chance and clinched three points that had looked well out of reach.

Five wins from five for Ashington strengthened their position at the top of the table.

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