Ashington’s hopes for a run in this season’s FA Cup could have gone west on Saturday – but the Colliers lived to fight another day after surviving a late onslaught against Holker Old Boys in Cumbria.
Twice ahead with strikes from Glen Taylor and skipper Andrew Johnson, the Wansbeck side could so easily have bowed out after Dan Pattinson – one of three brothers in the home side – had levelled with quarter of an hour remaining as Jordan Brough and Jamie Pattinson both struck the woodwork in the closing stages.
With the wind on their backs and kicking down the slope in the first half, Ashington should have gone in at the interval holding a greater margin than a 2-1 lead, yet despite the chances for both sides, a draw was a fair result on the day.
After a three-hour journey, the Colliers could have trailed as early as 80 seconds as Nathan Reid put Dan Pattinson through but keeper Chris Bannon came to the rescue, parrying away the forward’s right footed effort.
Ashington responded with home stopper Oliver Bell pushing out a 20 yarder from Marc Walton; Johnson beating a defender before whipping a low cross which eluded everyone at the far post then Richard Flynn heading wide from a Johnson corner on the left.
However, in the tenth minute, the Colliers went in front after an assured finish from last season’s top marksman Glen Taylor.
Walton headed the ball on for Taylor who unleashed a firm drive from inside the area across Bell and inside the bottom corner of the net.
However, in the 21st minute it was all square when Jamie Pattinson side footed the equaliser past Bannon after receiving a pass from the left.
Debutant Stuart Elliott, Richie Slaughter and Johnson then combined in what was to be the most fluent move during the period, the latter winning a corner, before Johnson fired the Colliers ahead for a second time on 27 minutes.
The skipper played a swift one-two with Walton, which put him clear down the left, and then, after jinking past a defender, he drilled a left footer between Bell and the near post.
A dangerous looking ball by James Novak went across the face of the goal before Walton was not far away with two efforts - a free kick then a 25 yards volley - before Elliott’s intelligent pass saw Glen Taylor sky over a great opportunity with his left foot.
In the early stages of the second period, Brough brought a save out of Bannon then blasted over on the half volley.
But on the hour, Slaughter slipped the ball through for Glen Taylor whose shot was blocked by Bell with Johnson lifting the rebound over the bar from 20 yards.
The strong wind was playing its part with constructive football proving to be extremely difficult, but after build-up play, Holker’s Nathan Reid was denied by a great save from Bannon.
Dan Pattinson’s drive tied the scores up at 2-2 and Ashington’s goal had a charmed life as the final whistle approached.
Bannon foiled Brough when the striker was through one-on-one, then after the latter’s effort had smacked against the foot of the post, Jamie Pattinson’s drive with the last kick of the game, crashed off the crossbar.
Ashington: Bannon, McGlen (Critchlow 73), Novak, Flynn, J Taylor, Christensen, Johnson, Slaughter, Walton (Downey 62), G Taylor, Elliott. Sub not used: Barnard.
On Saturday, Ashington are away to Crook Town then face Bedlington Terriers in the Wansbeck derby at Woodhorn Lane on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25, where kick-off is 11am.
Andrew Johnson scored the Colliers’ goal but later had a penalty saved by ex-Woodhorn Lane keeper Karl Dryden as Morpeth Town won 2-1 in the Ebac Northern League first division clash at Craik Park in midweek. Shaun Taylor and Michael Chilton were on target for the Highwaymen.