A gallant performance by Ashington was still not enough to prevent them from tumbling to their third home defeat of the season as they went down 4-3 to title contenders Guisborough Town at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.
Trailing twice then 4-2 behind, Steve Harmison’s side gave everything but in the end came away empty handed after a thrilling encounter against the Priorymen whose goals were of the highest quality.
With both defences on top there was little action in the opening 20 minutes.
Steven Snaith lined up a shot but was denied by a great block tackle by Gareth Williams then after neat build up play, Curtis Round fired into the side netting. Ashington’s first sniff came after an inspired move involving Kyle Oliver and Kyle Downey who set up Andrew Johnson who shot over on the turn from fully 30 yards.
The visitors were looking sharp on the break and duly took the lead on the half hour after home centre back Liam Atkin had lost possession.
The ball broke to Peter Bulmer who from just inside the right hand side of the penalty area, slotted the ball across Conor Grant and inside the bottom corner of the net.
However, Ashington had the perfect riposte as they drew level within two minutes.
Downey found Johnson down the left flank and the Colliers skipper crossed an inviting low ball into the six yards box which Dylan Williamson forced home.
Four minutes into the second period, the Priorymen went 2-1 up with after an excellent finish from Round.
He got possession outside the box and fired a left foot screamer across Grant and into the far corner.
After little goalmouth action in the first period, the second was an absorbing contest. Johnson received from Atkin to run across the area only to apply a weak connection then when play switched to the other end, a shot from Danny Earl was taken low down by Grant. On the hour, Round struck the base of the post and three minutes later Ashington got back on terms for a second time – through debutant Lee Scott.
A shot by Oliver was deflected for a corner on the left and when the full back swung the ball into the goalmouth, Scott produced a powerful header which bulged the roof of the net.
A cross shot from substitute Robert Bettson hit the woodwork but 80 seconds later, the visitors regained the lead. Awarded a free kick 25 yards out,
Daniel McWilliams stepped up to curl a brilliant effort inside the upright.
To come back a third time was a big ask for Harmison’s side but they fought magnificently and after substitute Scott Blandford had headed wide, Chris Moore fed Scott whose effort thudded against the post and bounced to safety.
The Colliers refused to give up and Johnson cut inside but saw his right footer pushed aside by ‘keeper Nicky Liversedge.
With six minutes remaining, Guisborough hit Ashington with a lightening break and Round claimed his second goal of the night after racing through from just inside the home half, drawing Grant then rifling into the net, even though the ‘keeper got a hand to the ball.
Ashington still kept going and 70 seconds later, when Scott was upended in the area, referee Helen Byrne pointed to the spot. Scott stepped forward to drive the resultant penalty home wide of Liversedge before the final whistle brought the curtain down on what had been a terrific game of football – the victory lifting Guisborough up to third in the table.
Ashington: Grant, Christensen, oliver, Williams (B Harmison 78 minutes), Atkin, Grieve,Moore, Downey, Williamson (Blandford 68 minutes), Scott, Johnson. Subs not used:
Race, Thompson (gk)
Referee: Helen Byrne