Northern League: Coghlan cracker sets up Washington’s dazzling debut success

Sunderland RCA (red) take on Consett at Meadow Park Ryhope on Saturday
Sunderland RCA (red) take on Consett at Meadow Park Ryhope on Saturday
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Washington, who won promotion at the end of last season, could hardly have made a better start to life in the First Division.

Michael Coghlan gave them an eighth-minute lead against Ashington at the Nissan Sports Complex on Saturday with an excellent strike into the top corner of the net and, from then on, Steven Hutchinson’s team never looked back.

The Mechanics dominated the first half and only superb goalkeeping by Conor Grant kept the home side at bay.

He was eventually beaten for a second time after 67 minutes as Joe Walton converted a low cross. Two minutes later, it was just about all over for the visitors when Mark Davison latched onto a through ball and easily beat Grant.

Jonathyn Quinn did manage a goal for Ashington, but a 3-1 success was still a very good baptism for Washington, who face a tough home clash with Morpeth tomorrow.

Durham City also started with a win. Two goals from Chris Wallace and Jake Fowler inside the opening 17 minutes set them on their way and James Fairley added a third 14 minutes from time.

Visitors West Allotment Celtic reduced the deficit courtesy of Scott Pocklington, but City finished easy 4-1 winners with a late strike by David Pounder. City host Whitley Bay tomorrow.

Newly-promoted Seaham Red Star gave an encouraging performance holding Penrith to a draw in Cumbria.

There were a couple of early scares for Mark Collingwood’s side when goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook was shown a yellow card for handling outside the box and minutes later, Martyn Coleman fired against the post.

But the Star quickly adapted to the rigours of the top flight and, despite going behind to Steven Logan’s headed goal on 36 minutes, they deservedly levelled at 1-1 when Paul Gardiner struck from close range in the 56th minute.

Consett, who signed eight players during the summer, could be a team to watch and they began by beating Sunderland RCA 2-0 at Meadow Park.

Summer signing Michael Sweet, a regular marksman with Billingham Synthonia last season, took advantage of sloppy defending to fire his new team into a 29th minute lead and Luke Sullivan headed in a second goal early after the break to confirm victory. RCA head to Dunston UTS tomorrow.

Shildon, who were pipped at the post for the championship last season, showed their intentions when they went nap against Newcastle Benfield.

Billy Irwin’s team could have gone in ahead but for some outstanding work by Shildon keeper Lewis Graham, but, after the interval, there was only one side in it.

Five goals flowed from Mark Doninger, with a hat-trick, Gary Brown and newcomer Lewis Wing, who was superb throughout the 90 minutes.

Dunston UTS, however, were the biggest scorers on the opening day. They hit Bedlington Terriers with an eight-goal blitz, scoring six times in the second period.

Malcolm Morien, signed from Jarrow Roofing, grabbed a 10-minute hat-trick when he was introduced as a substitute after Adam Wilkinson, Daniel Halliday, Andy Bulford, Matthew Briggs and Steven Richardson had found the net.

Jarrow Roofing secured a 2-2 draw at newly-promoted Norton & Stockton Ancients, with John Campbell, with a perfectly placed penalty into the top corner, and Paul Chow twice levelling in an action-packed final 10 minutes.