By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At Whitley Park
Newcastle United Reserves 2
Two stunning goals from Bradden Inman eased holders Newcastle United Reserves into the semi-finals of the Northumberland FA Senior Cup.
After a goalless first half, the Australian midfielder drilled home just before the hour mark, then made sure of the result with 15 minutes left to play.
He had also scored against the Colliers in this competition last year, at the semi-final stage, and netted against them in pre-season last summer.
And although the non-league side had chances of their own, the young Magpies outfit were comfortable winners on the night.
SECOND HALF UPDATES
90mins - Full-time and Newcastle are through to the semi-finals of the Northumberland FA Senior Cup thanks to two goals from Bradden Inman. So a good night for him, and for debutant goalkeeper Alex Baird who recorded a clean sheet on his second-string bow.
89mins - Chances at either end now as McGorrigan sees another opportunity lead to nothing. The ball comes to him at the far post and he controls well but his shot is saved well by Dryden, low down to his right. Then Haris Vuckic plays Dan Taylor through with a clever pass from the outside of his right boot, but the striker is forced wide and can only drag across goal.
88mins - Bell must be wondering how he hasn't scored tonight as the ball flashes across goal and the striker connects, only to somehow prod into the arms of Baird before Streete mops up. That would have made for a nervy final two minutes if the ex-Whitley Bay man had found the target.
84mins - Ashington left-back Craig Scott's header falls straight to McGorrigan, 16 yards out, and his effort grazes the post as it flashes across goal. Now the visitors make their third and final change: ex-Magpie Matthew Grieve, who was released by Alan Pardew in the summer, coming on in place of Gareth Rees.
82mins - Nearly a third for Newcastle as McGorrigan sees his powerful strike well tipped around the post by Dryden.
80mins - Ashington make a double substitution. O'Dea and Mullen are off and Andrew Dugdale and Gareth Bainbridge are on. Bainbridge's first touch sees him send a header goalwards but Baird picks it out of the air with relative ease.
77mins - Remie Streete makes a superb sliding tackle on Bell and, despite the home fans appealing for a penalty, play quite rightly continues. The ball is worked back in and Bell gets his head to it, but Baird makes another fine save. He has enjoyed a fine debut, just like Toland, and his display will certainly warrant a clean sheet if he is able to keep Ashington out in these final few minutes.
75mins - NEWCASTLE GOAL (2-0): Bradden Inman has surely wrapped the tie up now with his second spectacular goal of the evening. This time the midfielder takes aim from 20 yards and the ball flies into the net with Dryden helpless. So that's one goal against the Colliers in last season's competition, one in pre-season and now two tonight - he must love playing against Ashington.
73mins - Mullen's delivery from corners has been good and his latest flag-kick finds Bell unmarked. But the big striker - who scored five in last week's 7-1 win over Bishop Auckland - glances wide from eight yards.
70mins - Richardson's deep cross is met by Dan Taylor's looping header but keeper Dryden is able to backpedal just enough to catch the ball high above his head, and keep his side very much in the match going into the final 20 minutes.
65mins - Lee Toland has grown in confidence as his debut has gone on and after bombing past left-midfielder Edmundsson, he delivers a dangerous ball which Dryden spills at the feet of McGorrigan. The Newcastle youngster looks likely to score but just can't guide his shot on target.
57mins - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-0): Inman gets his goal now, and what a hit it is too. A corner is partially cleared by the non-leaguers but Inman, lurking on the edge of the area, sends a wonderful half-volley into the back of the net from 20 yards out. He scored against them last season and in pre-season, and now the midfielder has another goal against Ashington to add to his collection. The Magpies deserve it for the way they've started this second half.
55mins - Toland's ball down the channel finds Vuckic, whose backheel is retrieved by Inman 12 yards from goal. But the Australian teenager, who scored against Ashington in this competition last season, is slightly off balance and can only send his shot off target.
51mins - Andrew Johnson shoots just wide for Ashington as the ball finds him in space just inside the box on this increasingly slippery surface at Whitley Park.
50mins - Newcastle have started the second half well and now right-back Nicholson, rampaging upfield, stings the palms of the Ashington keeper with a strike from 20 yards. And from the corner, the ball finds Vuckic who shoots just over. The rain is pouring down now and from the glamour of Old Trafford at the weekend, this is definitely proper football now!
48mins - Haris Vuckic wins the ball from a dallying James Taylor and it breaks perfectly for Dan Taylor, whose well-struck shot is tipped over by the diving Dryden for a corner, which Ashington defend well.
46mins - No changes for either side at the break as Newcastle get the second period underway with the game heading for extra time as it stands.
FIRST HALF UPDATES
45mins - Phill Bell has seven goals in three appearances for Ashington this season and he has just been denied goal number eight by a stunning save from young keeper Alex Baird. Bell sent a towering header towards the top corner after Biuzzeo's free-kick was only half-cleared, but the Aussie shot-stopper flew to his left to somehow paw the ball onto the woodwork. That's virtually the last kick of the half as well, and the score remains 0-0 at the break thanks to the brilliance of Baird.
42mins - An Ashington breakaway sees Mullen pull the ball back from the left for the onrushing O'Dea, whose shot from 18 yards is going in but for a brave block from debutant Lee Toland, who gets his body in the way to keep the ball out. Good defending at both ends in the last two minutes has kept the scoreline goalless heading towards half-time.
40mins - Ryan McGorrigan goes well to burst onto the ball in the box and cross low from the left-hand side of the area. Taylor and Vuckic are both there and Taylor controls it, rounds the keeper and unselfishly tees up his Slovenian pal - but Vuckic's low shot is hacked off the line by one of the two black and white shirts on the line. Now THAT was the best opportunity of the night - and again it's kept out.
36mins - Dan Taylor has a golden chance to give Newcastle the lead - and score his first Reserve team goal in the process - as he beats the offside trap to run onto Remie Streete's slide-rule pass. It was superb play from the defender, who carried the ball forward and slipped in Taylor, but the striker's shot was blocked by the feet of Dryden. The ball cannons out to Vuckic on the edge of the box but his shot is saved rather more comfortably by the keeper. The game's best chance has gone begging.
35mins - The game is rather flat at the moment and despite some decent spells of possession from both sides, neither team has threatened in the last ten minutes on what is a cold, windy night in North Tyneside.
23mins - O'Dea plays in Andrew Johnson with a decent pass and he opts to hit it first time but can only drag his effort across goal. We're midway though the first half and it remains 0-0.
17mins - Another flag-kick causes problems for United as Craig Scott connects with a header, but there's not much power and Alex Baird, on his debut, is well positioned to pluck the ball out of the air before it reaches the goal.
15mins - From Damen Mullen's corner, Mark O'Dea rises highest for Ashington and directs his header wide. That was a presentable chance for the blond midfielder, who has yet to score this season but really should have done there.
14mins - Joan Edmundsson hits a rising shot from just inside the area and he gets plenty of power behind it, but just too much as it flies over the top of the bar. Both sides are creating opportunities and once senses that the first goal isn't far away - but who will it go to?
12mins - Great football from United sees Ryan McGorrigan feed Haris Vuckic 18 yards out. The Slovenian could shoot, but instead opts for a clever reverse pass to Richardson whose first-time shot is well blocked by the Colliers keeper. The visitors then go up the other end and after a long ball catches out the Newcastle defence, Godsmark goes for a lob which drifts wide of Baird's goal.
9mins - Michael Richardson wriggles into the box with a good run and although his progress is halted, the ball comes to Bradden Inman on the edge of the area. His half-volley, however, is straight at Karl Dryden, who gathers easily.
4mins - Former Magpies youngster Jonny Godsmark flashes the ball across goal after being found down the right by Paul Buzzeo, and any touch would surely have taken it in. But nobody could get there and a good chance goes begging for the Colliers, who have scored 13 goals in their last two league games.
1min - After a minute's silence to remember former United hero Gary Speed, we're underway. Ashington in their black and white stripes get us started. Newcastle are wearing their orange change kit.
Newcastle United Reserves: Alex Baird, Alex Nicholson, Lee Toland, Remie Streete, Tamas Kadar (c), Ryan McGorrigan, Bradden Inman, Michael Richardson, Joan Edmundsson, Haris Vuckic, Dan Taylor
Subs not used: Jonathan Mitchell, Michael Riley, Ben Sayer, Adam Campbell, JJ Hooper
Ashington: Karl Dryden, Paul Buzzeo, Craig Scott, James Taylor, Liam Atkin (c), Gareth Rees (Matthew Grieve 84), Andrew Johnson, Mark O'Dea (Andrew Dugdale 80), Phillip Bell, Jonathan Godsmark, Damen Mullen (Gareth Bainbridge 80)
Subs not used: Stuart Morris, Michael Hogg
Referee: Mick McDonough