Washington 2 Chester-le-Street United 1 – Ebac Northern League Division Two:

Concentration was at the heart of this one.  A lapse of concentration allowed Washington to take the lead and defensive concentration for two thirds of the game saw them hold on for a win and three valuable points.

An early goal was crucial.  The home team won a corner.  George Rounsefell sent the ball across and Louis Ward met it with an unchallenged header, with United ball watching, as he planted it into the net.

It was the first noteworthy incident of the game which, for most of the opening 20 minutes, was played in Chester-le-Street’s half.  The away team could only muster two shots that were well off target.  Their best shot came in the 28th minute with captain Taylor Campbell hitting his effort over the bar.

Flowing moves by either side were at a premium.

And then, just before the half hour mark, Washington were down to 10 men after Isam Mohamed was sent off for tripping Jay Gibson right on the edge of the area as the striker ran at goal.  Campbell took the free kick which got through the wall but was taken down to his right by keeper Alex Lawrence who followed that up a couple of minutes later by parrying a first time shot by Brandon Young out for a corner.

From then on in the Washington packed their defence, with plenty of men in and around their own 18-year line as Chester-le-Street attacked.  Despite their man advantage, the visitors didn’t really test or stretch Washington who kept their concentration and shape to repel United.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Washington started to mount a few more counter attacks, with Jak Hanson proving to be a useful outlet as they tried to catch Chester-le-Street on the break but it was team mate Joe Blackbourne who almost got their second, hitting a shot that United keeper Kieran Harwood had to tip over the bar.

Even though they had most of the possession, Chester-le-Street fell further behind in the 81st minute.  Hanson took the ball just inside the visitors’ half and despite being up against three defenders, he managed to take the ball into the box before being tripped to win a penalty.  He stepped forward to convert the spot kick.

However, Chester-le-Street gave themselves a lifeline with their first attack after conceding the penalty.  A long ball into the Washington area caused confusion between keeper and defenders and United left back Emanual Igiehon, who had been pushed forward into attack, was on hand to knock the loose ball into the net.

United went in search of an equaliser.  They had sub John Anderson sent off in the 90th minute and they had the ball in the back of the net in the third minute of added time but the goal was ruled out for a foul on Lawrence.

Washington were able to hold on and secure their fourth win of the season.

Mike Snowdon