ASHINGTON returned to winning ways on Tuesday night as they won their first ever encounter with Celtic Nation 4-1 at Woodhorn Lane.
The Carlisle-based side, who changed their name on promotion to the top flight, travelled to south east Northumberland on the back of some poor form having only taken six points from their last six games.
But it was the visitors who created the first opportunity when having forced a corner the ball was sent over by Dean Douglass and met by Michael Reed, but the striker’s header was well held by Karl Dryden in the Ashington goal.
The Cumbrian outfit continued to dominate the early exchanges with David Wallace in midfield the driving force.
Then on 14 minutes Glen Taylor almost grabbed the lead for the home side when he picked up a cross-field ball from Paul Antony but fired his effort just past the right hand upright.
Ashington were lucky not to fall behind on the 20-minute mark when Wallace struck a speculative shot just over the bar from well outside the box.
The Colliers gradually started to get more of a grip on the game and created a couple of good chances just after the half hour mark.
On 31 minutes Marc Walton wriggled free in the box but struck weakly when under pressure from Tyran Taylor.
Then on 33 minutes some neat interplay between Mark O’Dea and Andrew Johnson almost came off but the attacker’s shot was weak.
On 39 minutes the Colliers did take the lead.
A ball out to Glen Taylor on the left was taken easily past the right back and into the penalty area. The striker then played a square pass to Walton who fired home for his 28th league goal of the season.
Celtic were delivered a further blow only two minutes later when some dawdling by the centre half ended when O’Dea dispossessed him in the box and again squared to Walton for his second of the night.
After half-time the Cumbrians came out with the bit between their teeth and were awarded a free kick just outside the box with only a minute played.
The resulting free kick though was sent straight into the wall by Douglass.
On 54 minutes Dryden had to be alert and saved smartly down to his left from the menacing Jeff Smith on the Celtic left flank.
Ashington nerves were settled on 57 minutes when some good work down the right saw Jonny Godsmark roll the ball into O’Dea in the box, and just as it looked like the chance had passed, the creative midfielder laid the ball into the path of James Taylor who sent a beautifully weighted outside of the boot shot curling into the top left hand corner of the net.
On 70 minutes Celtic Nation won a free kick in a dangerous area but the ball was sent high and wide of the Ashington goal.
The Cumbrians did pull a goal back, and in style.
The team who had looked dangerous on the counter attack all night worked the ball well and Wallace sent a perfectly weighted pass in to Michael Reed who took the ball in his stride and thumped it past Dryden to reduce the deficit.
However, Ashington made the three points safe on 85 minutes.
After O’Dea forced a corner, Andrew Johnson delivered a pin point cross that was missed by the goalkeeper and headed into the net by Colliers centre half Matty Grieve.
Ashington: Dryden, J Taylor, Dobbie, Grieve, Atkin, Godsmark (Bainbridge), Antony, O’Dea, Walton (Dugdale), G Taylor, Johnson (Scott)