A superb team performance by Ashington culminated in a stunning victory over Newton Aycliffe on Saturday.
The Colliers had the cushion of a 2-0 advantage by the interval courtesy of goals from Ben Harmison and Scott Gunn, then a timely double from David Dormand put them into a handsome 4-0 lead before the hour mark.
Moore Lane Park has not been the best of stomping grounds in past years, but there was so much to admire from Ashington, particularly in a first period where their slick and crisp passing was a joy to watch.
In a game in stark contrast to the tame and mundane affair the previous week against Dunston, there was plenty of action early doors. Indeed the contest was only 35 seconds old when ex-Collier Andy Ferrell played a ball through for John Campbell but Ashington’s Luke Salmon got across to make a timely tackle.
Ashington’s reply came a minute later when Paul Antony found Lee McAndrew who crossed but Ben Harmison, but leaning back he blasted wide.
Bradley Varger then made a great recovering interception after a clever first time flick by Harmison had released McAndrew before Campbell uncharacteristically fluffed his lines twice in a minute.
The Aycliffe striker had two identical chances but stroked the ball wide of Conor Grant’s right hand post on both occasions.
Ashington came again with Downey, Antony and Dormand involved in the construction of the next move which ended with Salmon hitting the side netting.
But the Wansbeck side took a grip of the game with two goals inside six minutes.
The opener came in the 24th minute and started with a ball from Wayne Buchanan to McAndrew. He found Salmon who crossed from the left where Ben Harmison ghosted in to plant a terrific bullet-like header wide of James Winter and inside the far upright.
On the half hour mark, James Harmison pumped a high ball into the area from a free kick for Dormand whose header spun against the post but the rebound ran free to Gunn who rammed in from close range.
Grant tipped over from Jordan Laidler then the same player was not far away with a fizzing right footed drive.
Two goals in three minutes after the break put Ashington into a commanding position.
In the 56th minute, Ben Harmison powered forward a cross by McAndrew for Dormand who headed into the far corner, then a long ball from the back from James Harmison put Dormand clear and the forward rifled into the net from 14 yards.
Campbell was not far away for Aycliffe before Dormand spurned a glorious chance to complete his hat-trick. Ben Harmison glanced on a Grant free kick but Dormand dragged a right foot volley wide.
Ashington could have gone nap in the 73rd minute. Antony played the ball into the path of McAndrew but his effort struck the angle of post and crossbar.
On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Seaham Red Star, kick-off 3pm.
Ashington: Grant, Christensen, Salmon, Antony, J Harmison, Buchanan, Gunn, Downey, Dormand, B Harmison (Bulford 74), McAndrew (Farrell 79). Sub not used: Hall.