Dale at the double as Blues bowl Harmison’s side out

Zach Dale
Zach Dale

Nelson started the season with victory over Steve Harmison’s Ashington AFC in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

But their first Hallmark Security League Premier Division clash at Padiham on Wednesday night ended in defeat.

Former England cricketer Harmison was in the dug-out at Woodhorn Lane as Ashington AFC took on Nelson.

However the 37-year-old, who appeared in 63 Tests for his country, failed to ball the Blues out as Phil Eastwood’s men progressed to the next round of the competition with a 2-1 win.

Kyle Downey threatened early on for the hosts but Nelson’s reply was instant as striker Zach Dale worked an opening before beating goalkeeper Luc Glasper with a crisp right-footed shot in the eighth minute.

Midfielder Kieran Turner had a golden opportunity to double the away side’s lead when Mohammed Nabeel’s incisive pass played him through on goal but Glasper narrowed the angle and saved with his legs.

The Blues would pay for squandering the chance and it was Scott Gunn who fired the bullet. The forward beat two Nelson defenders before sending a left-footed drive beyond Steven James.

The hosts, who ply their trade in the Northern League Division One, finished the half well as the woodwork came to Nelson’s rescue on two occasions.

In the second half it was the visitors who were denied by the frame of the goal when Paddy O’Brien fed strike partner Dale whose first time effort cannoned back off the foot of the upright.

Nelson, though, did eventually restored the lead and it came from the spot after defender Sam Charlesworth was impeded from a corner. Dale took responsibility from 12 yards out and tucked the penalty away to make it 2-1.

Glasper denied Kieran Turner with a magnificent point blank save to preserve his side’s lead and secure a tie against Bishop Auckland at Victoria Park on August 20th.

Meanwhile, in the league derby at the Arbories against Padiham on Wednesday night, Phil Eastwood’s side went down to the only goal of the game.

In front of a number crowd of 230, former Colne man Marc Young scored the winner for the hosts on the hour mark, heading home a corner.

Both sides had chances throughout the game, with Nelson able to take some positives from their performance in the pouring rain.

The Blues return to action tomorrow when they host Atherton Collieries, kick-off 3 p.m., before a trip to West Didsbury and Chorlton on Tuesday night.