Washington FC 0-2 North Shields
Washington played host to North Shields in the EBAC Northern League Division 1 on Wednesday night, still searching for their first win of the season. Their opponents, North Shields, would prove to be strong competition, coming off the back of a thumping 5-0 win against Bishop Auckland the previous Saturday.
Washington started the livelier of the two sides, trying to unsettle the visitors by putting pressure on the ball from the start. Their efforts were rewarded with a few early chances as a surging run from Jordan Jewson forced an early save from Kyla Hayes, while Peter Watling fired narrowly over within the first ten minutes.
As expected, the visitors brought a good crowd to the Nissan Sports and Leisure Complex and they were in fine voice despite seeing little created from their side in the opening fifteen minutes, with Washington keeping them at bay. The disciplined shape and teamwork that served the home side well in the early stages began to show signs of coming undone after the half hour mark as North Shields grew in confidence and looked to take hold of the game. Midfielder Paul Robinson was presented with a good opportunity to break the deadlock for the Robins, after a pass from centre half Andrew Brown sold teammate Michael Laws short. Robinson’s shot from the edge of the area, however, was drilled just wide of the post.
At the other end, Washington winger Rhys Evans made a dangerous run with the ball down the left, cutting inside and eluding a couple of challenges before goalkeeper Hayes came to North Shields’ rescue. The game was now hotting up with both sides creating chances to draw first blood.
Ten minutes from the break, some neat play through the middle by North Shields offered an opportunity to break through on goal, but a foul from Michael Laws resulted in a free kick twenty yards out and the games first booking. The ensuing free kick drilled low but gathered comfortably by Gladstone.
Five minutes later, North Shields took the initiative when a cross from the left side was met at the back post by Dean Holmes. At first glance it seemed Gladstone may have done enough to prevent the games first goal but the referee was well positioned to determine that the ball had crossed the line and Washington’s display of good work ethic had been undone minutes before half time. Washington continued their efforts in the lead up to the break but the goal had bolstered North Shields’ confidence as they turned up the pace and displayed greater fluidity in their play.
The second half opened tentatively for both sides as the two struggled to string their passes together and establish themselves early on. The travelling Robins faithful would have to wait until close to the hour mark before seeing their team create any real opportunities, when a drilled cross from the right was met with a vital block from Washington captain Alex White to keep his side in the game.
Despite being a goal behind, Washington continued to probe and ask questions of the visitors. A deep free kick from the right side was glanced just wide at the back post just minutes before Rhys Evans was presented with Washington’s best opportunity of the game. Another cross from the right found Evans unmarked at the back, but he was heroically denied by North Shields’ Kyle Hayes. Hayes was equaled by Gladstone at the other end as he got down low to deny Bryan Wood after the North Shields striker controlled the ball well from Paul Robinson’s pass over the top.
Washington succumbed to the second goal shortly after, when full back Max Whitehouse was beaten by Craig McFarlane, who then rolled the ball across the six yard area where it was by Dean Holmes for his and North Shields’ second goal. From that point North Shields seemed to be in cruise control, seeing out the remainder of the game with relative ease.
Washington may have displayed a good deal of fight for large parts of the game, but the search for their first league win of the season will now continue to Saturday, when they travel to Ashington.
|23/08/2017||7:45 pm||Northern League Division 1||2017/18|
|Nissan Sports & Leisure Complex|
|A1290, Sunderland SR5 3NT, UK|