Ian Ward notched an 89th minute equaliser for Durham which denied Ashington what would have been their first win of the season in a highly entertaining Ebac Northern League encounter at Woodhorn Lane on Tuesday night.
Glen Taylor had rammed home for the Colliers early in the second half and the Wansbeck side appeared to be heading for a first success of the campaign until Ward’s struck.
In truth, a share of the spoils was nothing more than the Citizens deserved.
An early Andrew Johnson raid led to a corner for Ashington and although the same player had a shot deflected, it was the visitors who came close to breaking the deadlock.
Ex-Collier Mark O’Dea curled an effort wide from the edge of the area then superb defending from Matty Grieve saw him intercept a cross with Ward waiting to pounce.
Josh Gray – another ex-Ashington player – and Paul Dixon had further opportunities before on the half hour.
For Ashington, Glen Taylor directed a header from a Johnson free kick straight at keeper Rhys Jobling.
Sam Norris, making his debut in a black and white shirt, caused problems down the right hand side and when he whipped over a dangerous looking cross, Johnson’s effort was deflected.
Marc Walton then had the ball in the net but the effort was disallowed for a foul on Jobling.
Then a snap shot from Walton rippled the side netting before on the stroke of half-time, Johnson brought the best out of Jobling, who was forced to dive full stretch to his right to palm away a free kick from 25 yards.
Early in the second period, Glen Taylor was not too far away with a left footer, but in the 50th minute he put the Colliers ahead.
Johnson made it all possible with a darting run down the left flank, and when he played the ball into the danger zone, Taylor side footed home.
Both sides continued to play some excellent football – yet chances evaporated until quarter of an hour from time when substitute David Carson and Glen Taylor worked a one-two but the move broke down inside the area.
It was not a physical game by any means but Washington-based referee Danny Markham administered four yellow cards between the sides in as many minutes, which took the tally for the night to five.
Then with 60 seconds of normal time left on the clock, a cross from the right was headed against the bar by Durham substitute Denver Morris with Ward turning in the rebound.
Ashington: Dryden, McGlen, Oliver, Laws (Watson 90 mins), Atkin, Grieve, Norris, J Taylor, Walton (Carson 70 mins), G Taylor, Johnson. Subs not used: L Scott, Bell, Briggs.